Sunday, December 6, 2015

Pulled pork

It's funny how dishes suddenly become ubiquitous. When I first encountered pulled pork, I sniggered to myself and though "with a name like that, it'll never catch on." How wrong I was.

This is taken from a book I picked up in the States, with the simple title Mexican Cooking by Chelsie Kenyon. The photography is not the best - which is probably why I was drawn to it! - but the recipes are great.

There are quite a few exotic ingredients in this, but it's well worth making the effort to track these down. The effect is a real symphony of flavours - everything in harmony, nothing drowning out anything else.

4 ancho chiles
2 guajillo chiles
500 ml water
1/2 onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of olive oil
250 ml cider vinegar
500 ml orange juice
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon achiote paste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 kg boneless pork shoulder, cut into large chunks (about 5 cm square)

  1. Soak the chiles in 500 ml boiling water for 30 minutes. Reserve the soaking liquid. Remove the stems and seeds of the chiles. Liquidise the chilis with 200 ml of the soaking liquid.
  2. Chop the onion and garlic, put in a large saucepan, and fry gently in oil until softened.
  3. Add the liquidised chiles and all of the remaining ingredients except the pork. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to minimum and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Turn off heat, allow the marinade to cool, add the pork to the pot, and leave to marinade overnight.
  5. The next day, bring to a boil, turn to minimum and simmer for 3 hours. The meat should be just covered by the marinade, so add a little water if necessary at the start, and check regularly that it has not become too dry. (Or use a pressure cooker - see below.)
  6. Shred the pork with two forks and serve with tortillas, refried beans and tomato salsa.

Pressure cooker
Pressure cookers never really took off in the UK, but for this dish I think the end result is better (and it also means you don't have to worry about the meat drying out while cooking). If you have one lurking in your cupboard, dig it out and use it. I pressure cook the pork for about an hour. If you're looking for inspiration about what else to do with your pot, try Hip Pressure Cooking.

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