Chiles En Nogada
  • 1½ pounds boneless pork shoulder
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup white onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes {preferably Muir Glen Fire Roasted}
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 stick cinnamon {preferably mexican}
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 pinch nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar, or to taste
  • 1½ teaspoons sugar, or to taste
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 small peach
  • ⅓ cup dried apricot, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ⅓ cup green apple, peeled and diced, (1/3 inch)
  • ½ cup very ripe (black) plantain, peeled and diced (1/3 inch)
  • 1½ cups walnut halves, (5 oz)
  • ¾ cup slivered almonds, (2½ oz), plus additional if necessary to thicken sauce
  • 1½ cups whole milk, plus additional if necessary to thin sauces
  • 6 ounces queso fresco or very mild soft goat cheese, crumbled (1½ cups)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 14 large fresh poblano chiles*
  • ½ cup fresh pomegranate seeds
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish
  1. Generously salt and pepper pork, then brown on all sides in heavy oven-proof skillet, or Dutch oven. Add onions and garlic to pot, cover, and roast in 350º oven until meat thermometer reads 145º, about 1 to 1½ hours.
  2. Remove pork to cutting board and let cool. Remove thyme sprig from pot, leaving onions and garlic. When pork is cool, dice into ½" cubes.
  1. To pot with onions and garlic, add tomatoes, thyme, bay leaves, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1½ teaspoons sugar, and ¾ teaspoon salt and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes have broken down and sauce is slightly thickened, 20 to 30 minutes. While tomatoes simmer, cut an X in bottom of peach, then immerse in boiling water until skin begins to loosen, 10 to 30 seconds. Transfer peach to a bowl of cold water to stop cooking, then peel, pit, and dice (1/3 inch). Discard bay leaves, thyme sprig, and cinnamon stick from tomato mixture, then add diced pork and remaining filling ingredients and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until fruit is softened but still intact, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with additional salt, sugar, and vinegar.
  1. Pureé walnuts and almonds in a blender with milk, cheese, 1 tablespoon sugar, and ¼ teaspoon salt until smooth and silky, about 2 minutes. (Sauce should thickly coat back of a large spoon. If sauce is too thin, add more almonds and pureé?. If too thick, add more milk.) Season with salt and sugar.
  1. Grill or roast chiles over flame until blackened. Place in covered bowl and cool. Carefully peel skin from peppers. Cut a lengthwise slit in each chile and carefully cut out seeds with kitchen shears, leaving stem intact. (For milder heat, carefully cut out ribs also.)
Stuff & Bake Peppers
  1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350F. Divide pork filling among chiles, then close, overlapping sides of openings slightly. Transfer, seam sides up, to a 13- by 9-inch shallow baking dish, then cover with foil and bake until just heated through, 15 to 25 minutes. Transfer chiles to plates, carefully turning them seam sides down. Pour about ⅓ cup walnut sauce over each chile, leaving some of chile visible, then sprinkle chiles with pomegranate seeds and cilantro if desired. Serve chiles warm or at room temperature. * I always buy a few extra chiles because there are always some chile-casualties {some tear, others aren't quite right for stuffing}. No worries, though, whatever you don't use for this recipe can be used to flavor soups, or chopped up to top tacos.
Recipe by Raisin & Fig at