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Pork With Almond Sauce (Cabezada con Salsa de Almendras)

January 16, 2002

Active Work Time: 30 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 45 minutes

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My friend Pastora Ruano may make a delicious asadura or callos, but I prefer a more "common" cut of meat. Another one of her specialties is this delicious dish, typical of her village, Colomera (near Granada, southeast Spain) that is known for its almond trees. In Spain, they use a clay flameproof casserole dish instead of a skillet.

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided

5 to 6 cloves garlic

1 onion, diced

1 (2-inch-thick) slice French baguette, cut into cubes

1/3 pound blanched whole almonds

Salt

Water, if needed

2 pounds pork shoulder, cut into cubes

1 cup white wine

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground saffron

Flour, if needed

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, bread and almonds. Cook until golden brown, stirring often to avoid burning, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the skillet.

Place the almond mixture in a blender, add a dash of salt and 1/2 to 1 cup of water, if necessary, to facilitate blending. Blend until smooth. The mixture should pour well, but not be too liquid. Set aside.

Heat the remaining 1/2 cup of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the wine, 1 teaspoon of salt, the pepper and saffron. Bring to a boil and add the almond mixture. Simmer until the meat is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

If the sauce seems too thin, mix a teaspoon of flour with a teaspoon of cold water in a small bowl until smooth and add to the skillet to thicken the sauce.

6 to 8 servings. Each of 8 servings: 587 calories; 423 mg sodium; 61 mg cholesterol; 35 grams fat; 6 grams saturated fat; 35 grams carbohydrates; 32 grams protein; 3.85 grams fiber.

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