This is part three of the chile & beer braised pork feast and easily the favorite of the three. I’ve been making a lot of pizza from scratch lately and this is easily the best one to date. The flavors and textures balanced each other in a way that made my mouth happier than words. While a 500F oven in 105F weather isn’t always the most ideal, it was well worth having to set up a fan in the kitchen and the few extra dollars spent on lowering the a/c temperature. It’s also a dish that’s best washed down with an ice cold light Mexican lager.
Preparing your own pizza dough is truly worth the extra time if you have the time to spare. It’s cheap and simple and it’s the best blank canvas, particularly on nights when your fridge is filled with leftovers and/or produce. Even if I don’t have cheese or a tomato based sauce on hand, I use this basic recipe for flatbreads.. just stretch it out a bit further and shape into a square.
Pizza Dough Ingredients
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup of water + 1/4 cup more if you’re in Texas and it’s summer
- 2 tbs olive oil
- Mix flour, yeast, and 2 tsp salt in a large bowl.
- Add 1 cup of water and 2 tbs olive oil.
- Mix until the mixture starts to form a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch – I prefer to do this in a stand up mixer. Add the extra water 1 tbs at a time if the dough is too dry. Add 1 tbs of flour at a time if the dough is too wet.
- Replace the paddle with the dough hook or turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead by hand. Knead for a few minutes until the dough begins show a smooth surface. Round the dough by gently moving the sides beneath the middle; use your hands to guide the dough into a smooth ball.
- Grease a bowl and lay the dough in the bottom; cover with plastic wrap or a warm, damp towel.
- Place the bowl in a warm area and leave for 1-2 hours – until the dough has roughly doubled in size.
- Leave it and prepare the rest of the pizza.
Preheat the oven to 500F and place the rack in the center of the oven; place a pizza stone on the rack. Prepare the sauce and toppings…
Lime & Avocado Crema:
- 1 cup of sour cream
- juice of 1/2 a lime, plus more for garnish
- 1 small avocado
- 1 ear of fresh corn removed from the cob
- 1/4 cup of black beans
- 1/4 cup diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup diced red onions
- 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
- a splash of tequila
- a squeeze of lime
- salt & pepper to taste
Gently mix all items in a small bowl to combine. Add an extra squeeze of lime juice if more acidity is needed. This is best prepared a day in advance to allow the flavors to meld together. Cover & store in the fridge.
- 1 cup of reserved cooking liquid from the chile & beer braised pork
- 4 ounces tomato sauce
- 3 tbs of adobo sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo (add more for additional smokiness and heat)
Add all ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat. Allow to bubble away until the sauce reduces by about half, about 10 to 15 minutes; the sauce should coat the back of a spoon and resemble the consistency of pizza sauce.
- Cheese! We used monterey jack for melting and cotija for sprinkling once pulled from the oven
- Some of your leftover Chile & Beer Braised Pork
- Corn meal to coat the pizza stone
- Cilantro to garnish and for the quintessential fresh Mexican flavor
- Shape the pizza dough. To shape, pat the dough into the desired shape (in this case , a round-ish circle, but it doesn’t have to be perfect!) From here I either a) gently pull the dough and shape by gently pressing on it with my finger tips or b) lift the dough onto both fists and move until it slowly falls on its own while rotating and moving so that the thickness of the dough remains consistent. This part takes a few tries before it becomes easier.. the trick is to let the dough rest for a few minutes after each stretch. The gluten will relax and it will be nicer to you when you try to stretch it again. If a hole forms, pinch the dough together to patch and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before shaping again.
- Top the dough with the chile & adobo sauce.
- Cover with a layer of chile & beer braised pork (or other meat).
- Cover with cheese.
- Sprinkle corn meal on the pizza stone in the oven.
- Carefully slide the pizza onto the pizza stone; we use the back of a sheet pan, but a pizza peel is even better.
- Close the oven and allow to bake for ~10 minutes. Check on the pizza around 8 minutes and again every 3 or so minutes after that to ensure the pizza does not burn.
- Remove from the oven when the the edges are golden brown and the cheese has melted.
- Now for the toppings.. drizzle with the lime & avocado crema, spoon on the black bean & corn relish, crumble on the cotija cheese, and garnish with fresh chopped (or torn) cilantro.