Wow! The response to Cooked on Netflix has been overwhelming! Almost everyone who writes wants the recipe for the braise Michael and I make in the Water episode. Who am I to stand in your way? Here it is--take it and cook!
We made it with pork, but chicken legs and chuck roast, brisket, or short ribs would work equally well. No matter what meat you're cooking, just keep simmering it until it falls off the bone.
Neutral oil, such as grapeseed or canola
4 pounds boneless pork shoulder roast, salted in advance
2 medium yellow onions, sliced
1 head garlic, sliced through the equator
2 cups (480 grams) crushed tomatoes in their juice, fresh or canned
2 tablespoons cumin seed
2 bay leaves
8 dried chiles, such as Guajillo, New Mexico, Anaheim, or Ancho, stemmed, seeded and rinsed
2-3 cups (about 600 milliliters) lager or pilsner beer
½ cup roughly chopped cilantro for garnish
Optional: add 1 tablespoon smoky paprika or 2 smoked peppers, such as Chipotle Morita or Pasilla de Oaxaca to the braise
Preheat oven to 325°F/160°C.
Set an oven-proof Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When it’s warm, add 1 tablespoon neutral oil. When the oil shimmers, place the pork in the pan. Brown it evenly on all sides, about 3-4 minutes per side.
When the meat is brown, remove it and set it aside. Tip out the fat from the pan. Return the pan to the stove, reduce the heat to medium, and add 1 tablespoon neutral oil. Cook the onions and garlic over until they are tender and lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes and juice, cumin, bay leaves, and dried chilies into the pot and stir. Nestle pork atop the aromatic base, and add enough beer to come 1½ inches up the sides of the meat. Make sure the peppers and bay leaves are mostly immersed in the juices so that they do not burn.
Increase heat and bring to a boil, then slip the pot, uncovered, into the oven. After 30 minutes, check to make sure the liquid is just barely simmering. About every 30 minutes, turn the pork over and check the level of the liquid, adding more beer as needed. Cook until the meat is tender and falls apart at the touch of a fork, 3½ to 4 hours.
Remove the cooked pork from the oven and carefully remove it from the pan. Using a food mill or whizzing machine, puree the aromatics and strain them through a sieve. Skim the fat from the sauce and then taste, adjusting salt as needed.
At this point, you can either shred the meat and combine it with the sauce to make pork tacos, or slice it and spoon the sauce over the pork to serve it as an entrée. Garnish with chopped cilantro to serve.