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Chipotle's Braised Pork Shoulder With Tomatoes, Cumin, Cloves and Chipotle Peppers

4 medium tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 (3 lb.) boneless pork shoulder roast or pork loin
2 T. olive oil
1 onion, cut in half vertically and then thinly sliced into half-moons
6 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise
1/2 t. toasted cumin seeds (or substitute cumin powder)
2 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
2 to 4 sprigs fresh oregano
2 dried chipotle peppers
1/4 C. water or meat broth
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cook's notes: If using pork shoulder, tie up with butcher's twine - lengthwise and around - to hold pork shoulder firmly together. Call ahead; pork shoulder can often be bought already tied. To blanch tomatoes, boil water in medium saucepan. Add tomatoes to boiling water and cook for about a minute. Immediately remove tomatoes to bowl of ice water. This will make them easy to peel. To seed tomatoes, slice across and squeeze seeds out.

Preliminaries: Heat oven to 325F.

Sear the meat:
Salt and pepper the pork shoulder. Add olive oil to a deep Dutch oven or pan large enough to hold all ingredients. Over medium-high heat, sear pork shoulder until very brown on all sides. When pork shoulder is browned, remove from pan to a platter and let rest for 10-15 minutes.

Saute the onions:
Pour off excess oil from pan, leaving a coating of oil. Add onions to pan and sweat over low heat until translucent; do not brown.

Season the pork:
Make small cuts all over the seared pork shoulder and insert pieces of sliced garlic. Return pork shoulder to pan.

Toast the cumin seeds:
Meanwhile, in a small, dry frying pan, add cumin seeds and toast over high heat for about a minute. Remove from heat and crush. (Or use cumin powder.)

Assemble, simmer the ingredients:
Add tomatoes, cloves, bay leaves, fresh oregano, chipotle peppers, cumin and water or broth to pan containing pork. Season to taste with salt, pepper. Cover and place in preheated oven. Cook for two hours, until tender.

Slice and serve with choice of starch and vegetables.

Makes 6 servings.

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