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Guajillo Pork Chops

guajillo-garlic-porterhouse-pork-chops-ingredientsjpg

When I saw these succulent Porterhouse pork chops at the butcher shop, I knew they were coming home with me. Porterhouse pork chops are the Cadillac of chops. Divided by a “T” bone, these chops combine some of the best cuts of the tenderloin and the loin surrounded by a generous and beautiful ribbon of pork fat and their double thickness these chops are as luscious and succulent almost like having almost a steak. Thinking of how to prepare them, I could almost hear them whispering “Guajillo and garlic” to me, so there Guajillo Pork Chops for diner it was.

Chiles are one of my favorite ingredients in Mexican cooking, especially dry chiles. They work miracles in the kitchen. Dry or fresh, these beautiful capsicum fruits are not only about spicy heat;
fresh chiles can brighten up and give a spicy-sass flavor to any dish along with a bright loud note. Dry chiles add a pleasant intense depth of flavor from smokey-sweet, to spicy and fruity, floral and fruity notes with a pleasant hint of spice. Dry chiles are a must have in your pantry.
Dry Guajillos are the perfect example I just described. Guajillos, when slightly toasted, fried or hydrated, bloom with the most aromatic, intense color and mild fruity heat flavor. This effect is irresistible and best used with pork because the meat’s flavor still shines through.

I just knew this Guajillo-Garlic adobo is what these chops needed. In the blink of an eye, I was in the kitchen prepping and making this recipe come to life. I toasted the guajillo chiles to awaken the oils and flavor, then removed the seeds cut into strips and sauteed them in a little oil along with comino seeds and copious amounts of garlic. All these toasted ingredients went into the molcajete to be ground by hand. Using the molcajete is one of my favorite pleasures in the kitchen to smell the aromas that the combination of ingredients emanate from the friction of the volcanic stone. Feeling how the ingredients are being transformed, is such a rewarding cooking process for me. Once the chiles start to become a coarse paste, I incorporated the vinegar and there it was… Guajillo Adobo. This adobo can be ground as coarse or fine as you prefer. I left it medium coarse for this recipe , to add texture to the rub. When its was time to marry the flavors first a gave a good pan sear on the chops, added the adobo, basted the pork chops, and finished in the oven. The smell in the kitchen was insane! The moment I sliced the chop it was juicy, and succulent.
I try not to ever say “you should”… but in this case I will say “you must” try this recipe.
Have fun in the kitchen!

guajillo-pork-chops-yesmore-please

Guajillo Pork Chops

Makes 2 1b. Chops serves 2-4

2 -2” thick Porterhouse Pork Chops*, about 1lb each.
Sea salt and black pepper to season the chops
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter

For the brine:

1 cups warm water,
1/2 kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup ice
1 bay leaf

For the adobo:

4 dry Guajillo peppers
8 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
¼ teaspoon comino seeds
1 teaspoon sea salt
Fresh crushed Black Pepper
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon agave nectar.

Preparation Method:

1. In a glass bowl, dissolve sugar and salt into the warm water. Add ice, let it melt,add bay leaf. Add pork chops cover with plastic wrap or a lid, let them rest over night or at least 2-4 hours.
2. Take the pork chops out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking them. To become room temperature, this will ensure even cooking and tender, juicy chops. Remove pork chops from brine and pat dry really well. Set aside.
3. In a cast iron pan, slightly toast the Guajillo peppers until pliable and they change color. Remove from heat, let them cool a bit. Using kitchen scissors remove the chile tails and shake them to remove all seeds. Cut the chiles into thin rings.
4. Heat up a cast iron pan, make sure your chops fit loosely on the pan you will use. Add oil and warm up, add garlic, comino seeds, and the thinly cut guajillo. Saute for 2 -3 minutes until Guajillos are deep red and garlic is light golden brown. Remove pan from heat.

guajillo-pork-chops-garlic-adobo-yes-more-please
5. With a slotted spoon transfer the sauteed guajillos, garlic and cominos to a molcajete or stone mortar. Add sea salt and grind by hand until a coarse paste. Add the vinegar, agave nectar and grind a few more times until well incorporated.
This can be done on a small food processor pulsing 3-4 times, add the vinegar and pulse 2 more times until you have a coarse paste. Reserve paste set aside.

guajillo-pork-chops-adobo-en-molcajete_yes-more-please
6. In the same cast iron pan, utilizing the garlic-Guajillo infused oil left in the pan, bring the pan to a medium high heat. Season the pork chops both sides and around the edges with sea salt and pepper. Sear the chops for about 2-3 minutes per side and sear the chops all around standing them on their sides. This will render some of the pork fat and also will give a nice crust to the chops.
7. Once all sides are seared, bring down the heat to medium low and carefully tilt the pan, add the Guajillo adobo paste, into that oil. Be careful this might splash. Place pan flat and start basting the chops with this paste-oil for a couple of minutes. Top pork chops with a couple of spoonfuls of the guajillo adobo, add about ½ tablespoon butter on top of each pork chop.

Place the pan into the preheated oven at 425 for about 6-8 minutes.
Insert a meat thermometer, they should read between:
140-145F for medium rare.
Remove pan from oven and rest them in the pan for 3 minutes, transfer to a board or warm platter and rest them for 2 minutes.
155-160F for well done.
Remove pan from oven and let them rest in the pan for 3-5 minutes for well done. Transfer to a plater and serve.

Notes:

I always remove my pork chops from the heat about 5 degrees before they reach the highest temperature, the reminder heat will carry on and will keep cooking the chops, while you baste them, with out over cooking them. New guidelines in cooking temperature from the USDA have allow our sweet pork not being overcooked, living us with a tender, juicer pork.
Check this link for more information:
www.pork.org/new-usda-guidelines-lower-pork-cooking-temperature/

*If you are in Austin, visit Salt & Time for amazing porterhouse pork chops, or Smith and Smith Farms ask for Colby at the Texas Farmers Markets on Sundays at Mueller and Domain location

guajillo-pork-chops_adoboguajillo-pork-chops_adobo-yes-more-please

guajillo-pork-chops-porterhouse-yesmore-please

Music Pairing: Cantaloupe Island- Herbie Hancock

 

 

5 from 1 vote
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Guajillo Pork Chops

www.yes-moreplease.com

The great delicate fruity middle spice guajillo and garlic adobo over these porter house pork chops is to die for. Serve them with mashed sweet potatoes, and a generous green salad with a generous squeeze of lemon or lime, salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 2" Porterhouse Pork Chops, about 1 lb each.
  • 1 tablespoon Extra virgin Olive Oil
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to season the chops
  • 1 tablespoon butter

For the brine:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 piece bay leaf

For the Guajillo Adobo:

  • 4 dry Guajilllo peppers
  • 8 cloves garlic, fresh
  • 1/4 teaspoon comino seeds
  • 1 teaspoons sea salt
  • Fresh crushed black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Apple cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon agave nectar

Instructions

  1. 1. In a glass bowl, dissolve sugar and salt into the warm water. Add ice, let it melt, add bay leaf. Add pork chops cover with plastic wrap or a lid, let them rest over night or at least 2-4 hours.

    2. Take the pork chops out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking them. To become room temperature, this will ensure even cooking and tender, juicy chops. Remove pork chops from brine and pat dry really well. Set aside.

    3. In a cast iron pan, slightly toast the Guajillo peppers until pliable and they change color. Remove from heat, let them cool a bit. Using kitchen scissors remove the chile tails and shake them to remove all seeds. Cut the chiles into thin rings.

    4. Heat up a cast iron pan, make sure your chops fit loosely on the pan you will use. Add oil and warm up, add garlic, comino seeds, and the thinly cut guajillo. Saute for 2 -3 minutes until Guajillos are deep red and garlic is light golden brown. Remove pan from heat.

    5. With a slotted spoon transfer the sauteed guajillos, garlic and cominos to a molcajete or stone mortar. Add sea salt and grind by hand until a coarse paste. Add the vinegar, agave nectar and grind a few more times until well incorporated.

    This can be done on a small food processor pulsing 3-4 times, add the vinegar and pulse 2 more times until you have a coarse paste. Reserve paste set aside.

    6. In the same cast iron pan, utilizing the garlic-Guajillo infused oil left in the pan, bring the pan to a medium high heat. Season the pork chops both sides and around the edges with sea salt and pepper. Sear the chops for about 2-3 minutes per side and sear the chops all around standing them on their sides. This will render some of the pork fat and also will give a nice crust to the chops.

    7. Once all sides are seared, bring down the heat to medium low and carefully tilt the pan, add the Guajillo adobo paste, into that oil. Be careful this might splash. Place pan flat and start basting the chops with this paste-oil for a couple of minutes. Top pork chops with a couple of spoonfuls of the guajillo adobo, add about ½ tablespoon butter on top of each pork chop.

    Place the pan into the preheated oven at 425 for about 6-8 minutes.

    Insert a meat thermometer, they should read between:

    140-145F for medium rare.

    Remove pan from oven and rest them in the pan for 3 minutes, transfer to a board or warm platter and rest them for 2 minutes.

    155-160F for well done.

    Remove pan from oven and let them rest in the pan for 3-5 minutes for well done. Transfer to a plater and serve.

Recipe Notes

Notes:

I always remove my pork chops from the heat about 5 degrees before they reach the highest temperature, the reminder heat will carry on and will keep cooking the chops, while you baste them, with out over cooking them. New guidelines in cooking temperature from the USDA have allow our sweet pork not being overcooked, living us with a tender, juicer pork.
Check this link for more information:
www.pork.org/new-usda-guidelines-lower-pork-cooking-temperature/

*If you are in Austin, visit Salt & Time for amazing porterhouse pork chops, or Smith and Smith Farms ask for Colby at the Texas Farmers Markets on Sundays at Mueller and Domain location

Happy Cooking!

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Cochinita Pibil |Pulled Pork Yucatan Style

Cochinita-Pibil_Yucatan-Style_ready-to-serve-Yes,-more-please!

The state of Yucatán is located in Southeast Mexico right at the tip of a peninsula and is mostly tropical forest. It is the location of important ancient Mayan cities like Chichen Itza, Izamal, Motul, Mayapan, Ek’Balam and Ichcaanzihoo, which now make up the modern city of Mérida. A tropical forest is filled with an abundance of living species including: Toucans, Guacamayas, Papagayos, Garzas, hummingbirds, serpents, crocodiles, wild boar, porcupines, changos iguanas, squirrels, armadillos, reindeer, and jaguars. All kinds of insects inhabit the forest from ants and wild bees to lightning bugs and mosquitos, all living together in a beautiful fertile land.

Nine thousand years ago this was the land that the Mayan choose to develop their civilization. A paradise of abundance of colors, nature, spices, and rainforest; all your senses are awaken in this land.

It is in the Yucatán where an important culinary fusion took place after the Spanish conquest: Spanish and Mayan cuisine. It is a belief that the people of Yucatán were the first Native Americans that tried the pork meat.

This fusion of cuisines gave origin to a New World cuisine, the Mestizo. These dishes which derive part of their origin from prehispanic ingredients, condiments and techniques were fused with the new ingredients from the old continent. Items like pork, spices, citrus, and different cooking techniques came together to create this New World cuisine.

Cochinita Pibil is one of the most renowned dishes in Yucatán. Its name comes from Cochinita = suckling pig or small pig, and Pibil in Mayan means “under the ground” referring to the cooking method that the Mayan developed. It is one of the dishes that I like the most from that region. It is really amusing and fun to prepare. There are two ingredients in this recipe that give character and its particular flavor: Annatto seeds and Bitter oranges. You might have to go on an adventure to find them, although now its easier than ever with all the specialized condiment stores and supermarkets with special sections for ethnic foods. Annatto seeds grow on the tropical forest of a little tree that gives a heart shaped fruit with spiky hairs.When the fruit is fully mature, it splits open revealing the beautiful red seeds. Besides having a culinary purpose, annatto seeds are also used for pigments and food coloring.

Cochinita-Pibil-Yucatan-Style_annatto-seeds

Cochinita Pibil is such a rewarding dish. A little love and effort go a long way. First, you work on a rub-marinade for the pork, marinate it overnight or for as long as twenty-four hours. Then make a pork bundle of banana leaves and bake it in the oven or in an outdoor charcoal pit for 3.5 to 4 hours. If you wish you can go all the way and bury it in the ground which is the traditional method. My recipe is more adapted for house or grill cooking. If you want to go with the traditional method send me an e-mail along with and invitation and I will help you cook it! : )

The best way to describe this Cochinita Pibil is addictive. The tangy oranges, the floral annatto seeds and the two types of pepper corns marry the rich pork flavor transforming the pork into the best succulent pork with an extraordinary flavor and tender texture. The pork remains moist from the Banana leaves pocket that keep the pork bundle warm and juicy. The banana leaves perfume the dish giving it an intangible unique quality.

Cochinita-Pibil-Yucatan-Style_Bitter-Orange-&-Garlic

Cochinita Pibil is traditionally served with garlic rice and black beans, in tacos, or tortas.
Other delicious dish preparations could be as a stuffing for enchiladas, poblano chiles or empanadas. For me I think is best on its own, with corn tortillas on the side, hand made if possible.
Quick pickled red onions with fresh habanero peppers and a grilled habanero pepper sauce on the side, a cold Mexican pilsner beer are Cochinita Pibil’s best companions… the way its served in Yucatán, the best juicy pork on the planet!

I know you’re gonna love this recipe as much as I do…. ask Ian!…Enjoy!

Cochinita-Pibil-Yucatan-Style_Yes,-more-please!

Cochinita Pibil Yucatan Style

Serves 6 Yucatecos, and 6-8 pork taco lovers.

8lbs.Pork butt or pork shoulder cut into large 3”x 4”cubes approx.
Pork butt tends to shrink a lot because of its fat content, always calculate at least 2 or 3 more pounds of what you think you will need. In this recipe 8 pounds, yields about 5-6 net pounds of pork meat.
2 white onions sliced on thin wedges.

For the marinade:

6 tablespoons annatto seeds*
1 tablespoon whole black pepper
8-10 whole All spice peppercorns (upon size small=10 medium-large=8)
6 whole cloves
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2″ stick Mexican cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
12 garlic cloves
1 Habanero chile de-seeded
1 tablespoon sea salt.
1- 1/2 cup of bitter oranges juice. Bitter oranges have a sour bitter flavor, highly acidic which complement and tenderize the meat.How to recognize them?
They have green and yellow rough skins, picture above.
(If you can’t find this kind of oranges, substitute for 1 cup orange juice and 1/2 cup white vinegar)

For the quick pickled red Onions:

2 medium red onions, sliced in thin wedges
4-5 Habanero peppers, thinly sliced or diced.
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup white or pineapple vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt

You will need the following to cook your Cochinita Pibil:

5-6 Banana Leaves
Heavy duty Foil paper

16″x13″ Ennamel, clay or stainless steel roasting pan

Note:

If you cannot get annatto seeds, you can substitute for achiote paste. It is not the same flavor, I really prefer to go with the seeds the flavor and the aroma is so much better. If you use the paste, use 3/4 of the paste bar, and use only 1/2 the amount of salt on the recipe.
The same with the rest of the spices, If you can get them whole the spices taste so much better. Why? Well once the spices are grounded the oils inside the seeds that give the aroma and flavor, start to oxidize,losing their intensity of flavor and aroma.

Cochinita-Pibil-Yucatan-Style_grinding-the-spices

Preparation Method:

1. Cut the pork into 3”x 4” cubes, set aside.
2. Grind the annatto seeds, black pepper, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, cumin seeds, oregano until powdered. You can use a stone mortar to pulverize the seeds or a coffee grinder. I do recommend fresh spices whole rather than powdered because the whole seeds retain much of their oils and are more fragrant. Since we are making all by scratch, it is worth the extra effort!
I do prefer to use a mortar, is more fun and the aroma of the spices while you grind them is amazing… if you are not so romantic like me..hehehe a coffee grinder will work, just remember that once you use it for spices, just use it for that purpose.

Cochinita-Pibil-Yucatan-Style_ground-spices
3. In a blender combine the garlic cloves, Habanero chiles, sea salt and orange juice. Blend.
4. In a glass container place the pork and all the blended marinade, massage the pork pieces until well covered. Cover with parchment paper and plastic wrap. Refrigerate, let it rest over night.

Cochinita-Pibil-Marinate
5. Next day remove your pork out of the fridge while you prepare the pan. You want the marinated pork not to be refrigerator cold when you place it in the oven. This allows the meat to cook more evenly and it will be more tender.
6. Move your oven rack to the lowest position in your oven. Preheat the oven at 325 F/160C Place the banana leaves inside the oven for 5-7 minutes.Afterwards they should be a little warm which will make them more pliable. With scissors cut off the banana leaves hard middle rib edge.
7. In a large roasting pan line the banana leaves in both directions, overlapping half way the leaves and placing them cross ways until you can not longer see the bottom of the pan. Place some banana leaves pieces on each corner to ensure there is no leaks.Leave the over hanging leaves, these will help us to make the bundle.
8. On top of the banana leaves place a layer of thin onion wedges and the marinated pork meat in the roasting pan. Add the marinate juices and cover with the over hanging banana leaf. You want to make a pork bundle. Make sure is all fully wrapped up. Take a look at the following images for visual directions.
9. Cover the entire pan bundle with aluminum foil. Tighten the edges fully to seal and contain the heat and moisture. Place the pot into the oven (or the just warm charcoal embers outside in a pit or carefully monitored grill) for 2.30 to 3.30 hours.

Cochinita-Pibil-Yucatan-Style_banana-Plantain-wraping-the-pork-bundle

10. Pull the cochinita out of the oven and before uncovering it, let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
11. While your pork is resting,  prepare your pickled onions by thinly slicing red onions and habbanero peppers. Slightly warm up the vinegar, and add the salt and lime juice to the onions. cover and leave them at room temperature, until the Cochinita is ready. The onions will became hot pink, and the vinegar will have the flavor of the spicy habaneros. Set up the table, get yourself a nice cold Mexican beer to drink.

Cochinita-Pibil-Yucatan-Style_quick-pickled-red-onions-and-habaneros
12.Unveil the Cochinita Pibil and with the help of two forks shreed the pork into smaller pieces, let the pork absorb those juices from the pan. The pork should be fork tender, juicy, moist…fragrant! the smell will fill your kitchen. You will almost hear the toucan screaming and the Mayan Jaguars slinking around behind you (watch out)… Time to eat!… Enjoy!
This Cochinita Pibil is best served with a side of white fluffy garlic rice, and black beans. Tacos are always a great option. corn or flour, what ever rocks your boat. Enjoy!

Cochinita-Pibil_Yucatan-Style_Yes,-more-please!

Cochinita-Pibil-Yucatan-Style_served-with-rice

Serve with Rice…or

Make the most amazing Cochinita Pibil Tacos!

Tacos-de-Cochinita-Pibil-Yucatan-Style..Bomba!Yes,-more-please!

Cochinita-Pibil-Tacos-Yucatan-Style_Yes,-more-please!

Viva Mexico!…Enjoy!

Bomba!
Con esta cara de lec
y
esta figura de pec
te juro preciosa eshpet
que te puedo hacer jesmec!…

Mare, mare!

Music Pairing: La Maldita Vecindad – Mare

5 from 3 votes
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Cochinita Pibil | Pulled Pork Yucatan Style

Course Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8lbs. Pork butt or pork shoulder, cut into large 3”x 4”cubes. Pork butt tends to shrink a lot because of its fat content, always calculate at least 2 or 3 more pounds of what you think you will need. In this recipe 8 pounds, yields about 5-6 net pounds of pork meat.
  • 2 medium white onions, sliced on thin wedges

For the marinade:

  • 6 tablespoons annatto seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole black pepper
  • 8-10 whole all spice peppercons, aka pimienta gorda, upon s small=10 medium-large=8
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2" stick Mexican Cinnamon
  • 12 large garlic cloves
  • 1 habanero chiles, de-seeded
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1-1/2 cups bitter oranges juice, Bitter oranges have a sour bitter flavor, highly acidic which complement and tenderize the meat. If you can’t find this kind of oranges, substitute for 1 cup orange juice and 1/2 cup white vinegar.

For the Quick Pickled Onions:

  • 2 medium red onions, sliced in thin wedges
  • 3-4 Habanero peppers, thinly sliced or diced.
  • 1 Lime, the juice
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar or pineapple vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

You will need the following to cook your Cochinita Pibil in:

  • 5-6 large Banana Leaves
  • Heavy duty foil paper
  • 16"x 13" Ennamel, clay or stainless steel roasting pan

Instructions

  1. 1. Cut the pork into 3”x 3” cubes, set aside.

    2. Grind the annatto seeds, black pepper, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, cumin seeds, oregano until powdered. You can use a stone mortar to pulverize the seeds or a coffee grinder. I do recommend fresh spices whole rather than powdered because the whole seeds retain much of their oils and are more fragrant. Since we are making all by scratch, it is worth the extra effort!

    I do prefer to use a mortar, is more fun and the aroma of the spices while you grind them is amazing… if you are not so romantic like me..hehehe a coffee grinder will work, just remember that once you use it for spices, just use it for that purpose.

    3. In a blender combine the garlic cloves, Habanero chiles, sea salt and orange juice. Blend.

    4. In a glass container place the pork and all the blended marinade, massage the pork pieces until well covered. Cover with parchment paper and plastic wrap. Refrigerate, let it rest over night.

    5. Next day remove your pork out of the fridge while you prepare the pan. You want the marinated pork not to be refrigerator cold when you place it in the oven. This allows the meat to cook more evenly and it will be more tender.

    6. Move your oven rack to the lowest position in your oven. Preheat the oven at 325 F/160C Place the banana leaves inside the oven for 5-7 minutes.Afterwards they should be a little warm which will make them more pliable. With scissors cut off the banana leaves hard middle rib edge.

    7. In a large roasting pan line the banana leaves in both directions, overlapping half way the leaves and placing them cross ways until you can not longer see the bottom of the pan. Place some banana leaves pieces on each corner to ensure there is no leaks.Leave the over hanging leaves, these will help us to make the bundle.

    8. On top of the banana leaves place a layer of thin onion wedges and the marinated pork meat in the roasting pan. Add the marinate juices and cover with the over hanging banana leaf. You want to make a pork bundle. Make sure is all fully wrapped up. Take a look at the following images for visual directions.

    9. Cover the entire pan bundle with aluminum foil. Tighten the edges fully to seal and contain the heat and moisture. Place the pot into the oven (or the just warm charcoal embers outside in a pit or carefully monitored grill) for 3.5 to 4 hours.

    10. Pull the cochinita out of the oven and before uncovering it, let it rest for at least 30 minutes.

    11. While your pork is resting, prepare your pickled onions by thinly slicing red onions and habbanero peppers. Slightly warm up the vinegar, and add the salt and lime juice to the onions. cover and leave them at room temperature, until the Cochinita is ready. The onions will became hot pink, and the vinegar will have the flavor of the spicy habaneros. Set up the table, get yourself a nice cold Mexican beer to drink.

    12. Unveil the Cochinita Pibil and with the help of two forks shreed the pork into smaller pieces, let the pork absorb those juices from the pan. The pork should be fork tender, juicy, moist…fragrant! the smell will fill your kitchen. You will almost hear the toucan screaming and the Mayan Jaguars slinking around behind you (watch out)… Time to eat!… Enjoy!

    This Cochinita Pibil is best served with a side of white fluffy garlic rice, and black beans. Tacos are always a great option. corn or flour, what ever rocks your boat. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

 

 

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Pulled Pork Tacos & Hatch-banero Mango Slaw

Pulled-Pork-Tacos-&-Hatch-banero-Mango-Slaw-Green-Tomatillo-and-Avocado-Salsa-~Yes,-more-please!

I consider myself a part-time vegetarian but every now and then my carnivorous side knocks at my door. In this case I was craving for a good fresh pork taco. This is an lengthy description right?    Good – fresh – pork – taco? Let me explain myself. “Good”: high quality meat well prepared and well seasoned. “Fresh” : I make it from scratch no short cuts. I want something that is really gonna satisfy my craving. I could go to buy a taco but its better when you make them. Its easy to follow these few steps and….. Done! The formula is ready so you can have the best tacos in town, because you made them!
Being from Mexico, its been hard for me to find good tacos in town (how come something so simple can get so screwed up at the restaurants?). I think the best ones I had here in Austin were prepared in my kitchen. Why? Not because I’m a taco genius, its do to a simple easy equation: handmade tortilla + quality meat cook properly + fresh salsa = the best taco. Want to make fresh corn tortillas?… check our step by step tutorial click here.

In this case, this is more like an adaptation taco recipe, I used the pork shoulder, or pork butt, because its a good substantial cut of meat. It has a balanced percentage of fat and meat and is great for braising. Yes I wish I could have a copper pot with a huge wooden spoon and cook the pork in hot lard (like carnitas style) and also a huge powerful vent in my tiny kitchen for the smell to go away!. Yes, I love tacos but the smelly vapors in my house? Not so much. Therefore I’m using my handy dandy slow cooker. I place a little table outside in my patio and leave it there for about 3-6 hours, depending on how many lbs. of meat I’m cooking. The result is the neighbors want my fork tender juicy meat. (See pictures below). Its such a great method because it allows you to go to work come back with dinner ready! If you are planning a dinner party its also a really easy one pot wonder, everybody happily assembles their tacos.

In this case I wanted to make some sweet and sour cole slaw instead of the traditional cilantro and onions or pickled red onions. I added some mango for sweetness and spicy hatch chilies.For the salsa I used creamy avocado and green tomatillos to balance the acidity from the spicy mango slaw (as I’m writing my mouth is watering). These are good fresh pork tacos to me, for now let the pictures do the talking…
This is three recipes in one all fairly easy considering the pork cooks by itself, a Taco Feast that will satisfy any crowd… Enjoy!

Pulled-Pork-Tacos-&-Hatch-banero-Mango-Slaw-crowd-pleaser-how-to-make-tacos~Yes,-more-please!

Pulled Pork Tacos & Hatch-banero Mango Slaw

Serves 6-8 mexicans, 8-12 americans, 12-16 french.

Ingredients:

3-5 lbs pork shoulder or pork butt roast
1 orange ½ juiced the other half cut in thick slices
4-6 garlic cloves
½ medium size onion cut into thick rings
2 bay leaf
1 teaspoon of whole black pepper corns
6 whole cloves
2 tablespoons of dry chile powder
1 tablespoon dry mexican oregano
2 tablespoons of sea salt
2 red habanero peppers
3/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
½ cup water

Preparation:

On the bottom of the slow cooker sprinkle some salt , half of the pepper corns, half cloves, 2-3 crushed garlic cloves add vinegar and water. Remove some of the excess fat then place the pork roast in the slow cooker. Sprinkle all the rest of the aromatic ingredients on top, add onion rings, orange slices, chili powder, brown sugar, red habanero peppers, garlic cloves. Cover with a lid and follow the instructions for your slow cooker. I cooked this amount of meat in 4 hours (the 3 first hours in high, the last hour on low). Cook until the center of your meat reaches 145F / 62C measured with a meat thermometer. Once your meat is ready turn off the slow cooker and let it rest for about 30-45 min.
Remove all the topping spices and pieces of orange, onion and bay leaf. Transfer the meat into a bowl, and then proceed to fish out all the peppercorns and cloves once you remove all the aromatics, Remove some of the extra fat, but not too much (Leave some for flavor). Place the meat back into the juices and with the help of 2 forks start shredding the meat. It will be easy since the meat has been cooking for so long. Leave it in the pot to keep it warm.

Pulled-Pork-Tacos-&-Hatch-banero-Mango-Slaw_Pork-cooked_step-by-step~Yes,-more-please!

On the bottom of the slow cooker sprinkle some salt , half of the pepper corns, half cloves, 2-3 crushed garlic cloves add vinegar and water. Remove some of the excess fat then place the pork roast in the slow cooker. Sprinkle all the rest of the aromatic ingredients on top, add onion rings, orange slices, chili powder, brown sugar, red habanero peppers, garlic cloves. Cover with a lid and follow the instructions for your slow cooker. I cooked this amount of meat in 4 hours (the 3 first hours in high, the last hour on low). Cook until the center of your meat reaches 145F / 62C measured with a meat thermometer. Once your meat is ready turn off the slow cooker and let it rest for about 30-45 min.
Remove all the topping spices and pieces of orange, onion and bay leaf. Transfer the meat into a bowl, and then proceed to fish out all the peppercorns and cloves once you remove all the aromatics, Remove some of the extra fat, but not too much (Leave some for flavor). Place the meat back into the juices and with the help of 2 forks start shredding the meat. It will be easy since the meat has been cooking for so long. Leave it in the pot to keep it warm.

Spicy Hatch & Habanero Mango Cole Slaw

Serves 6-8
Hatch-banero-Mango-Slaw-~-Yes,-more-please!

Ingredients:

2 cups or ½ small size red cabbage
4 cups or ½ medium size green cabbage
1.5-2 cups 1 big mango 2 medium size peeled and medium diced
3 green onions finely chopped
½ red onion finely chopped
¼ cup cilantro finely chopped
1 Hatch pepper seeded and finely chopped* ( you can replace the hatch for fresh jalapeños )
1 red habbanero pepper seeded and finely chopped*
*Rub a little canola oil in your hands specially your finger tips before start cutting the peppers, this will help avoid burning your hands.

Vinaigrette:

1/3 cup of canola Oil
½ cup of apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon of dry oregano
½ teaspoon of celery salt
½ lime juice
½ lemon juice

Preparation:

In a large bowl whisk all the vinaigrette ingredients. Add the 2 types of cabbage and the rest of the chopped ingredients. Mix well set a side let it get happy for about 20-30 minutes.

Mango_ColeSlaw_02

Green Tomatillo and Avocado Salsa

Pulled-Pork-Tacos-_Green_avocado_Salsa-how-to-make-~Yes,-more-please!

Ingredients:

6-8 Small fresh green tomatillos
2 hatch peppers roasted skinned and seeded
1 ripe Hass avocado
3-4 cilantro sprigs
juice of ½ lemon
¼ cup of water
salt and pepper to taste

Method:

In a stand blender or using a hand blender, puree all ingredients until smooth and creamy consistency. Adjust for salt and pepper.

Pulled-Pork-Tacos-_Green_avocado_Salsa-~Yes,-more-please!

How does all this work together?…

Place everything on the table like a buffet style, warm up your tortillas, keep the shredded pork warm on the slow cooker, cut some extra limes, some Cholula red sauce, or any of your preference. Layout the coleslaw, the green avocado salsa and let everybody assemble their own tacos. Open a cold bottle of amber beer like Victoria (this beer is from Mexico but now available in Austin!!!) squeeze a lime juice and Salud!…Share with friends!

Pulled-Pork-Tacos-&-Hatch-banero-Mango-Slaw-~Yes,-more-please!

Pulled-Pork-Tacos-&-Hatch-banero-Mango-Slaw_bite!--~-Yes,-more-please!

Enjoy!

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