Thursday, May 1, 2008

Slow Food to a Latin Beat

I've come across pulled pork countless times this month. First it called to me from grocery store demos, then the pages of two different magazines and right after I bought the pork shoulder to make it, one of my favorite local bloggers, Rachel of Coconut & Lime posted a Smoky Mango Pulled Pork that sounds delicious. I wanted to try one of Latin versions found in my magazine, but I couldn't find annatto seed anywhere. Then I found a recipe for korean steamed buns filled with shredded pork, and my obsession for dim sum was refueled. So I made a Latin / Asian fusion version that made a delicious pulled pork sandwich dinner and hopefully will create beautiful dim sum this weekend. That is, if it makes it that far (I may or may not have been sneaking bites out of the fridge several times a day).

Latin Inspired Pulled Pork

one 5 lb. pork shoulder
1 Tbsp chinese five spice powder

1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup cream sherry
1/4 cup Chinese black vinegar (Oh - do try - SO good!)
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. liquid smoke
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. hot chile powder
1 Tbsp. cumin
1 additional Tbsp. chinese five spice

Start the night before by searing the pork in a nonstick pan (or if you're as lucky as I am to have an All-Clad slow cooker with a cast iron insert you can sear right in the insert on the stovetop).

When the pork is browned on all sides, sprinkle it with the first Tbsp. of five spice powder and let the spices toast. Add all of the sauce ingredients and let them come to a simmer until everything has dissolved. Remove from heat and cool. Refrigerate overnight.

in the morning, set the slow cooker on low (8 hours on the timer if it has one - mine will cook for 8 hours than turn to a warm setting).

When you get home at night, remove the pork and shred it. Meanwhile, bring the liquid to a boil and reduce until it coats a spoon. Toss pork with sauce and serve on rolls.

I like to serve this with roasted potatoes and my favorite carrots:

Roasted Carrots with a Maple Chile Glaze

Toss carrots in olive oil and roast on a sheet pan for 25 minutes, until they've lost a bit of moisture, stirring occasionally (this concentrates their sweetness). Toss with 2 Tbsp. maple syrup and 1 Tbsp. good smoky chile powder.

Enjoy with a mango margarita:

1 cup frozen diced mango
1/2 cup Jose Cuervo margarita mix
2 Tbsp. Sauza Gold tequila
1 tbsp. pineapple schnapps
coarse salt
sliced lime

Blend together mango, margarita mix, tequila and schnapps until smooth. Use a slice of lime to wet the rim of glass, then dip in coarse salt. Pour in margarita and sip happily.

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