If you are anything like us, you are tired of Thanksgiving food now. Much anticipated, planned in advance, and requiring the focused attention in the kitchen that most people leave empty all year, that dinner is a piece of work. On top of that, the traditional Thanksgiving dinner is pretty bland: starches, potatoes, a roasted bird, butter, and more starches. It's no wonder that everyone sits around an hour or two after dinner is complete with their zipper down and their faces slack.
Luckily, we've mixed up the dinner enough to include more spices, less starches, and a bit of pork. (Oh, the cornbread dressing. We'll tell you about that this week.) And because Danny is a chef, he knows how to make enough food to last for a day or two and no more. We ate the last of that bird behind on Saturday.
And so, last night, we were eating spicy pork, braised with chiles and cumin.
You want this, especially now.
Braised Pork with Chiles and Cumin
3 ½ pound pork butt
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons chile powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
1 large carrot, peeled, quartered, and chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
5 cloves garlic
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 quart chicken stock (or pork stock)
Take the meat out of the refrigerator and remove any wrapping or strings.
Pour ½ of the salt, pepper, chile powder, ground cumin, and cinnamon into a small bowl. Combine well. Rub this spice mixture over the pork butt, evenly.
Set a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Pour in half of the olive oil. Put the pork butt into the hot oil and cook until the bottom is browned, about 5 minutes. Brown all the sides in the same fashion until the entire pork butt is seared. Set it aside.
Pour the rest of the olive oil into the same pan. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to the hot oil. Cook, stirring frequently, until they the vegetables are soft, about 7 minutes. Add the other half of the spices to the vegetables and cook until the spices have released their fragrance, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and stir.
Put the pork into a 6-quart slow cooker. Pour the spiced vegetables around the pork. Pour in enough stock to cover the pork butt. Cook the pork in your slow cooker on low, all day, or 6 to 8 hours, until the meat is tender and falls apart easily.
Feeds 6 people.