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Pueblan Pork with Blueberry Mole

Pueblan Pork with Blueberry Mole

People frequently disregard fruit in non-dessert preparations; and yet, it can provide the perfect, nuanced counterpoint to one-note ingredients like proteins.  Especially when said pork or chicken comes draped in the complex Mexican sauce known as mole — a combo chocolate, seeds, spices and herbs, which similarly toes the line between sweet and savory.  We think you’ll agree that blueberries add an especially compelling element to the dish; providing a sort of reduced, syrupy earthiness that’s as intoxicating as a splash of red wine!

Ingredients

For the Mole:

1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons of chili powder
1 1/2 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 ounce of semi-sweet baking chocolate
1/2 cup of chopped purple onion
1/3 cup of pumpkin seeds
1 tortilla chopped into small squares
A few sprinkles of water, if necessary
Salt and pepper to taste

For the Pork:
4 pounds of pork shoulder
4 green bell peppers
4 poblano chilies
1 onion
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoon of Mexican oregano
2 tablespoons of thyme
2 tablespoons of cumin
6 bay leaves
4 tbsp kosher salt

Directions

For the Mole: In a medium sauce pan, add olive oil and chopped onion. Cook over medium heat until onion starts to brown, add tortilla and garlic. Add cayenne and chili powder along with blueberries.  Allow blueberries to start to bubble slightly.  Take off heat and add chocolate.

In a food processor, add the blueberry mixture using a spatula so as many ingredients as possible get in there. Add pumpkin seeds and process until all the ingredients are formed into a thin paste. Add a little water to get the perfect consistency if necessary and add salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a large pot.

For the Pork: Season the pork with salt and pepper and in a large frying pan sear on all sides until brown. Deglaze the pan with ½ cup chicken stock and set aside. Add pork to the molé pot along with green bell peppers, poblano chilies, onion, garlic, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, cumin, kosher salt, pepper and remaining chicken stock. Simmers 3½ hours or until fork tender.

Remove meat and shred. Carefully strain sauce, pour over meat and serve.

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