Thursday, May 26, 2011

Abuelita J's Slow Cooked Pork Recipe - as remembered when removed from a kitchen.

Recently having a conversation in The Spice Guild group on teh FB and we were talking about pulled pork and variations and whatnots and I started thinking about how I put together my normal version.  Now we all know, or at least most of you know two things 1) I love pork the way a fat kid loves cake 2) I totally scammed this recipe from this in 2004:


Ah memories.  Over the years my recipe has the fundamental elements of RR's but it's definitely taken on a life of its own (plus I can't afford to buy my shit from Central Market unlike some fancy ass Central Texans - jk) and I've learned to make it different ways for different people.  So people like it more spicy, some like it sweeter.  Here's a rough outline of the main recipe I use, kind of...sort of...

Here's one problem though - I don't know how markets are where you folks live so you might not be able to get Mexican stuff at your pinche Yankee supermarkets.  No worries, just find your local Central/South American grocery store and go there.

To start:

Pork, butt, shoulder (loin is too expensive and not fatty enough) at least four pounds.  Cut into bite sized chunks.  Put chunks in a gallon zip-lock bag or pot or whatever  (personally I've started using the dutch oven I'm gonna cook the dish in because I'm too cheap to buy zip-lock bags).  Cover with:
  • 1 Can Jumex Mango or Papaya or Pineapple nectar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 juice 1 lime or lemon
Let sit for one disc of LOTR Director's Cut or two, whatever.  Hell go take a nap.

Wake up from nap, watch Boromir's Last Stand while gathering ingredients:
  • 1 small bag "cajun" mirepoix (ain't got no carrots in it) or make it fresh.  I don't care.  Personally I think the difference is marginal and besides we're not here for the mirepoix are we?
  • about half a cup of Abuelita J's Spice Mix
  • 1 regular size bottle of real Coke - Mexican Coke if you can get it.  To me this makes a difference because Mexican Coke is like Dublin Dr. Pepper - it's made with cane sugar and tastes awesome.  If you can't then regular Coke will work too, like a 12oz can.
  • This depends on your taste but sometimes I will add one can of El Pato tomato sauce.  Yellow or green can - green is jalapeno.  I want to get my hands on some of their red enchilda sauce.  I love El Pato.  It's one of the things I buy at the grocery store whether I need it or not, though I always need it for something.  If you don't have access to El Pato don't use Hunt's or anything like that, just forgo tomato.
  • Again, depending on your taste and your guests' taste, I'll add more heat.  Usually in the form of a blend of dried chiles and if I'm feeling real froggy a couple of grams of ghost powder.
Throw everything into one pot, I use a Le Creuset 4-qt Dutch Oven for pretty much all my large cooking these days - not because I'm a snoot but because it's such a utilitarian item.  You can also use a crock pot.  I do not in anyway shape or form recommend using a soup or a stock pot.  That's running the risk of burning your pork (or stew or chili) which will potentially ruin the whole thing and then you'll have quarts of frozen gross hidden at the back of your freezer or fridge until you just throw the whole container away because you don't even want to acknowledge what you've done. 

You can use the oven but since it's above 90 degrees outside I don't wanna use mine so I use the range.  Over a low-medium heat put your pot filled with porky goodness, cover. Once you smell what the Rock is cooking (love you Dwayne Johnson) or if you hear the pot bubble over go give it a stir.  I usually check it every half-hour or forty-five minutes just because I'm paranoid about burning and I also have to work with an electric stove that's kind of persnickity.  Usually for about, meh, three - four hours.

Now here's the biggest difference between my own and many other recipes - I take my trusty wooden spoon-atula (seriously I've carved and sharpened and shaped this thing over the years into some kind of freakish primitive multi-tool) and slowly smush all the pieces, not to a paste or anything but basically break down the chunks.  Stir, cover, remove from heat and let sit while you make rice.

I generally serve mine over rice with a slice of lime and some cilantro.  I've also eaten it plain in a bowl, on a bun, enchiladas, burritos, tacos, with or without sour cream, with or with avacado.  So yeah.  There's the general outline.  Enjoy.  As always, questions, comments, ideas, tips, and tricks are always welcome.

Good cooking.


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