Pork Chimichangas

Once upon a time in Tucson, Arizona (somewhere between the 1920's and 1950's) a burrito was dropped into a fryer, giving birth to the beloved chimichanga. Perhaps it was an accident or this Tex-Mex reinvention was intentional. Either way, we're happy our version with braised pork, homemade green sauce and Cheddar exists.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 50 min
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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1/2 cup vegetable oil, plus more for deep-frying

2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into rough 1-inch chunks

1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed

1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

6 cloves garlic, smashed

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

One 12-ounce bottle pilsner-style beer, such as Corona

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

8 ounces tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed and quartered (about 3 medium)

1/4 cup whole raw almonds

3 canned chipotles in adobo sauce

1 small red onion, quartered

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro with tenders stems (about 1 cup packed)

Six 12-inch flour tortillas

1 1/2 cups shredded yellow Cheddar

Guacamole, pico de gallo and sour cream, for serving


Special equipment:
toothpicks, deep fat fry thermometer
  1. Heat 1/4 cup of the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the pork, coriander, cumin, garlic and salt and pepper, and cook, turning as needed, until the pork is brown, about 15 minutes. Pour in 8 ounces of the beer and the vinegar, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Cover and braise over medium-low heat until the pork is fork tender and the liquid just covers the bottom of the pot, about 45 minutes. Remove the pork, keeping the remaining braising juices in the pot. Let cool and shred. Add the pork back into the pot and set aside.
  2. Combine the tomatillos, almonds, chipotles, onion, cilantro, the remaining 4 ounces beer and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a blender. Puree until smooth. 
  3. Heat the remaining 1/4 cup oil in a large, straight-sided skillet over medium heat and add the tomatillo mixture. Cook, stirring frequently to prevent the bottom from burning,  until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Take care, the sauce will splatter as it cooks. Pour the green sauce into the pork and toss to combine.
  4. Fill a large, heavy-bottomed pot with about 4 inches of oil, attach a deep fat fry thermometer and heat to 375 degrees F. 
  5. Lay a tortilla out on a work surface. Put 1/4 cup of the cheese across the center of the tortilla. Top with about 3/4 cup of the pork and spread evenly. Roll into burritos by folding the bottom half of the tortilla over the pork and cheese filling, and then folding the 2 sides in. Roll up and secure with 2 toothpicks. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, cheese and pork.
  6. Fry the burritos in batches, turning as needed, until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the toothpicks and serve the chimichangas with guacamole, pico de gallo and sour cream.
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