Author Pam - For the Love of Cooking / Original by Isabel Eats
Large Dutch oven
8(3 oz)dried ancho chiles, rinsed
12(2.5 oz)dried guajillo chiles, rinsed
1dried bay leaf
1½tspdried Mexican oregano
3tbspvegetable oil, divided
3lbspork shoulder, cut into bite-sized chunks
1medium yellow onion, chopped
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
1tbspfresh cilantro, chopped
Oaxaca cheese, shredded
Onion & cilantro relish
Remove and discard the seeds and stems from the dried ancho and guajillo chiles. Tear the chiles into medium-sized pieces.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chiles and toast until fragrant, stirring often, for 1-2 minutes. Side Note: More than 2 minutes can make the chiles bitter.
Transfer the toasted chiles to a medium pot along with the bay leaf; fill the pot with water until the chiles are completely covered. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then remove from the heat, cover, and let the chiles soak for 10 minutes.
Transfer the chiles and bay leaf to a large blender with a slotted spoon. Add 3 cups of the chile-soaked water along with the vinegar, soy sauce, garlic cloves, sugar, oregano, cumin, thyme, and sea salt, to taste; blend until very smooth.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 of the pork, season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste, and sear on all sides until browned, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Add another tablespoon of oil to the Dutch oven and add the remaining pork, season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste, and sear on all sides until browned, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Add the final tablespoon of oil to the Dutch oven and add the onion and season with a bit of sea salt & freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Cook for 4-5 minutes, scraping up bits from the pan.
Return the pork to the Dutch oven and pour the chile sauce on top; stir until evenly coated. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover and cook for 2 hours. Remove from the heat and taste the sauce. Season with additional salt, if needed.