Saturday, April 30, 2011

HYR: Experiment in Pork

I decided to try something a little different with my slow-cooked pork this last batch.  Made a batch of green - not my standard red.  It's not "green" per se but then again neither is this recipe - which is a good one and similar to how I made mine.  The primary difference between onestopcook's, other traditional puerco verde recipes and mine is the amount of citrus I used.  I might have used too much citrus actually or too many differeent kinds.  I also didn't have some ingredients I thought I had and wished I had and also cooked it twice in order to get the flavour I wanted.  My primary mistake in the first cooking was over-salting and over-estimating the chiles I had purchased.  I fixed those two problems by re-cooking it with half a can of pineapple juice and adding a couple of diced serranos.

Step One:  The Porkening
  • If you guys have followed my slow cooked pork recipe or others in the past the prep time is all the same.  Carve up a couple lbs of pork loin or butt into chunks.  Throw chunks into container suited for marinading.  I've started using a six quart stock pot.  Add salt, apple cider vinegar, a can of pineapple or mango juice.  Normally I'd add Abuelita's but this is not going to be a red dish so none this time.
  • Leave in fridge.  Go to step two.
Step Two:  Roasted stuff
  • An assortment of green chiles - fresh.  Whatever you want.  I used serranos, cubanelles, and green finger chiles.
  • About a dozen tomatillos
  • Two bulbs of garlic - cloved
  • Two onions - chopped
  • Prep all these - throw in pan, throw in 350 oven, (I usually add a little water to the bottom of the pan so the stuff doesn't get too burnt), watch first disc of Fellowship of the Ring.
Now here came the experimental part.  I've made verde salsa before but never in conjunction with cooking something.  My theory was too make the verde salsa like I normally do but then I realized I don't own a food processer large enough for the amount of veggies I roasted.  So I said fuck it, tranferred all the roasted veggies to my large Le Cruset, and set a low boil.  I added the juice of a grapefruit, a lemon, lemon zest, a touch of white vinegar, and some salt (this is where the oversalting came into play I think).  I then rendered the veggies into a mush that wasn't pretty but was pretty aromatic and tasty.  Then, using a slotted spoon, I added the pork into the mush.  The pork to mush ratio was almost 2:1 so I said fuck it again and just added the marinade to the pot until there seemed like enough liquid.  Then I cooked it.  Exciting right?

When it was "done" it just didn't taste right.  It wasn't gross but it was as salty as an appetizer at Chili's.  I left it overnight and then next day added the half can juice and serranos.  I'm pretty happy with it now though once I get the recipe down I post it here.  I also think I might start considering making a spice mix that can be used for non-red dishes.  Hmmm...

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