Morita chile paste
1 small onion, small dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of lard (or bacon fat, or veg oil, or whatever)
1 can of whole peeled tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
tablespoon of crema (optional)
Remember all those morita chiles you had leftover from making oxtail soup?
Ok, let’s make a paste out of those.
Normally I would toast the chiles first, but these already have such a nice smoky flavor I didn’t bother. Just cut them open and get out the seeds.
Chuck them in some boiling water, turn off the heat, and let them soak for 15 minutes.
While that is happening, chop some onions and garlic, the base of all good things, and preheat a pan to low.
Add fat to pan. Add onions and a pinch of salt. Sweat onions for a couple minutes and then add garlic for 30 seconds to open up the flavor. Add tomatoes with juice, crushing with a spatula or with your fingers as you add them.
Don’t worry too much about them, you’re going to blend them anyway. Add another pinch of salt. Simmer.
While it’s simmering, put chiles in blender
and add a little of the water you boiled them in. Puree until smooth.
Once the sauce has simmered for five minutes, add some of the puree to taste and another pinch of salt. Taste for seasoning. Transfer to the blender you didn’t bother to clean out because you knew you were going to blend the sauce and puree until smooth.
Return to pan.
Now you could add whatever cooked meat you like to this sauce – pork, beef, goat. I had chicken laying around, so I shredded that and put it into the sauce with a tablespoon of crema to smooth the heat of the chiles.
Stir and let simmer another couple of minutes. Turn off heat and walk away for five minutes to get the flavors to infuse into the meat. The pan will keep everything warm.
You could eat this just as a stew or on some rice, but I chose to sprinkle it with queso fresco and then eat it on tortillas with cilantro.