Jerez-style wedding asado (Asado de boda Jerezano)
Total time: About 3 hours
Note: Serve the dish over Mexican rice, with extra bolillos (Mexican rolls) for sopping up the sauce. Dried chiles can be found at Mexican and well-stocked markets. Bolillos and piloncillo (unrefined sugar, commonly shaped as a cone) can be found at Mexican markets. This makes much more puree than is needed for the final asado, which is good because it is fairly labor-intensive to make. The remaining puree can be frozen, then thawed and used as desired.
8 dried pasilla chiles
1 1/2 pounds dried chile chilacate, or red chiles (you can substitute dried New Mexico chiles)
9 pounds boneless pork shoulder
5 tablespoons salt, divided
7 cups lard, divided
7 bolillos, each cut into 4 pieces
3 (6-inch) Mexican cinnamon sticks (canela)
18 ounces Mexican chocolate, preferably in bar form, broken up with a hammer
Peel of 1/2 orange
3 (8-ounce) cones piloncillo, or 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar, broken up with a hammer
4 bay leaves
1. Cut the pasilla and red chiles in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and stems. Set aside.
2. Cut the pork shoulder into small, thumb-sized pieces (including the skin and fat). Place the pork in a large bowl and toss with 1/4 cup salt.
3. In a large, heavy-bottom skillet or frying pan, heat 3 cups of lard over high heat. When the lard is melted and hot (test the heat with a piece of pork — it should sizzle and crackle when it hits the pan), pan-fry the pork. Fry the pork in a single layer until crisp and golden-brown (this will probably need to be done in batches), 15 to 20 minutes per batch, stirring the pork occasionally so it cooks evenly.