One Plate to Rule Them All: This Was 2015’s Dish of the Year

Ray Garcia walks us through the process—from poaching to cleaving to the crucial garnish—on making the <i>camote</i> at Broken Spanish.

“Go to any mercadito in Boyle Heights and you’ll find some very sweet, almost dessert-like camote, or sweet potato, buried in syrup. I thought, ‘Let’s see if we can scale back the sugariness and balance it out to make something that’s delicious.’ For me, that means adding pork. I grew up seeing piles of fried pig snout at local carnicerías. It has this fun, gelatinous texture, a great gooeyness. So you get sweet from the potato, spice from a little chile de árbol , and a jellylike texture from the pork. The combination is something you almost associate more with Asian cuisine than Mexican.” – Ray Garcia

Step 1: Bath Time
A purple Okinawa sweet potato is poached in a pot of piloncillo, or sugarcane extract.

Step 2: Heat Therapy
Pig ears, tail, and snout are rubbed with oil, sprinkled with salt, and roasted in the oven until golden brown.

Step 3: Cleave Ho
Once gelatinous, the meaty bits are chopped up and mixed with the sweet and spicy liquid from the pressure cooker.

Step 4: Under Pressure
The roasted pig parts are placed in a pressure cooker with some water, garlic, chile de árbol, onion, and piloncillo.

Step 5: Whole Hog
The poached sweet potato is heaped with stewed pork and finished with white verjus, lemon, chives, parsley, and a skosh more chile de árbol.