When asked to find a recipe to commemorate the Battle of the Alamo’s 175th anniversary, Chef de la Vega found Asado de Bodas, an authentic dish typically served at weddings and other special occasions in this region during the early 1800s. In English the dish is known as “Wedding Stew” and is traditionally served with Mexican rice. Today it is also popular served with pasta.
2 lb. pork shoulder, cut into 2-in. cubes
2 tsp. salt
1 white onion, peeled and cut in half
4 garlic cloves, peeled, divided
1/2 cup lard or vegetable oil, divided
Peel from 1/2 orange
6 ancho chilies, seeds and veins removed
1 slice stale bread
1 stale corn tortilla, broken into pieces
1/2 lb. tomatillos, husks removed and cut in half
1 whole clove
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2-in. Mexican canela (cinnamon)
2 bay leaves
3 to 4 oz. Mexican chocolate
Salt, as needed
2 tbsp. lard or vegetable oil (optional)
1/4 cup blanched and peeled almonds (optional)
1/4 cup dark raisins (optional)
- Place the pork in a large pot and add enough water to cover. Add 2 tsp. salt. Add ½ the onion along with 2 garlic cloves to the pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook until meat is tender, about 1 hr. Remove pork; strain broth and keep broth warm for later use.
- In Dutch oven over med.-high heat, melt ¼ cup lard. Sauté pork and orange peel in hot lard until meat is golden brown; discard orange peel. Reserve pork in Dutch oven.
- Heat remaining 1/4 cup lard in skillet; add chilies and lightly fry. Place 1½ cups warm broth in med. bowl; add chilies and soak.
- In remaining fat in skillet, sauté bread and the tortilla until golden; remove and set aside.
- Add tomatillos and remaining garlic and onion to skillet; sauté until golden. Transfer mixture to blender. Add soaked chilies, clove, cumin, oregano and canela. Blend until very smooth.
- Add chile mixture to pork in Dutch oven; stir in the bay leaves. Over med.-low heat, cook for 10 to 15 min.
- Stir in chocolate and salt to taste; the sauce should be slightly thick.
- Optional: Heat the 2 tbsp. lard and sauté the almonds until slightly golden in color; set aside. In remaining fat, sauté the raisins until plumped. Scatter on top of the meat.
- Serve with cooked rice and warm corn tortillas.