3 pounds (1.35 kg) brisket in one piece, trimmed of some of the fat
1½ tablespoons slivered almonds
8 ounces (225 g) bacon or ham, cut into small pieces
3 large ancho chiles, seeds and veins removed
1½ tablespoons mild vinegar
¾ cup (185 ml) water
3 whole cloves, crushed
½-inch (1.5 cm) piece of cinnamon stick, crushed
4 peppercorns, crushed
6 sprigs fresh thyme or 1½ teaspoon dried
6 sprigs fresh marjoram or 1½ teaspoon dried
¼ teaspoon dried mexican oregano, or ½ teaspoon dried oaxacan oregano
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil
Salt to taste
1½ pounds (675 g) red bliss or new potatoes
Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C).
Pierce the meat all over with a knifepoint and insert the almonds and bacon. Set it aside while the sauce is prepared.
Toast the chiles lightly, turning them often so they won’t burn. Put the chiles into a bowl, cover with hot water, and leave them to soak for about 10 minutes.
Put the vinegar and water into the blender jar, add the spices, herbs, and garlic, and blend as smoothly as possible. Add the chiles and blend to a fairly smooth consistency.
Heat the lard in a Dutch oven and when it is very hot sear the meat well all over. Remove the meat and set it aside. Drain off the fat, leaving only 2 tablespoons in the pan. Add the sauce to the pan and let it cook fast for about 5 minutes, stirring it all the time. Add salt to taste.
Return the meat to the pan and baste it with the sauce. Cover the casserole with a tightly fitting lid and cook the meat in the oven for about 2 hours.
Put the potatoes, unskinned, into a saucepan, cover them with boiling water, and let boil fast for 5 minutes. Drain them and set them aside to cool. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, skin.
Remove the casserole from the oven, turn the meat over, and baste it well with the sauce. Scrape the sauce from the sides and bottom of the pan and add a little water if it has thickened too much.
Put the potatoes into the sauce around the meat, replace the lid, and let the meat cook until it is very tender, but not falling apart-test after 1 hour and 10 minutes. Slice the meat fairly thick and place it on a serving dish with the potatoes around it. Pour the sauce over it.
bacon recipe courtesy of: Diana Kennedy, The Essential Cuisines of Mexico; Men's Fitness