Minced Pork with Almonds, Raisins, and Sweet Spices
Yield: about 3 1/3 cups
This recipe originally appeared in Rick's first book "Authentic Mexican". It was revised for a segment that Rick did with Chris Kimball for the America's Test Kitchen TV show.
1 1/2 pounds (3 medium-large) rip tomatoes, roasted, cored, peeled and roughly chopped
OR one 28-ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 1/2 pounds lean, coarse-ground pork
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns (or about 3/4 teaspoon ground)
1-inch Mexican cinnamon stick (or about 1 teaspoon ground)
5 cloves (or about 1/8 teaspoon ground)
1/4 cup raisins
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 canned chipotle chile, seeded and minced
1. The tomatoes. For a picadillo using peeled fresh tomatoes, place them in a blender or food processor with 1/3 cup water, then process until smooth. Using canned tomatoes, simply puree them with their liquid.
2. The meat. Heat the oil in a very large (12-inch) skillet over medium. When hot, add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, 7 or 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook 2 minutes longer. Add the pork in a thin layer and fry, stirring frequently, until cooked and lightly brown. (If quite a bit of fat has rendered from the meat, drain it off.)
3. Finishing the picadillo. Pulverize the pepper, cinnamon, and cloves in a mortar or spice grinder, then add to the skillet along with the tomato puree, raisins and vinegar. Simmer until reduced to a thick, homogeneous mass, 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the juiciness of the tomatoes.
Toast the almonds for about 10 minutes in a 325 degree oven, stir into the filling along with the minced chipotle. Season with salt, usually about 1 1/2 teaspoons, and it's ready.