Tuesday, March 31, 2009


This another great accompaniment to drinks, with pieces of tortilla or pita bread.
Going with spoon measures here, as it does not have to be exact.

  • 2 Kg boneless pork shoulder, cut into 5-inch chunks, trimmed of excess fat. (You could try filet mignon if not a pork eater)
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons canola or neutral vegetable oil
  • water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly-sliced

Rub the pieces of pork shoulder all over with salt. Refrigerate for 1- to 3-days. (You can skip this step if you want. Just be sure to salt the pork before searing the meat in the next step.)
Heat the oil in a roasting pan set on the stovetop. Cook the pieces in a single layer until very well-browned, turning them as little as possible so they get nice and dark before flipping them around. If your cooking vessel is too small to cook them in a single-layer, cook them in two batches.

Once all the pork is browned, remove it from the pot and blot away any excess fat with a paper towel, then pour in about a cup of water, scraping the bottom of the pan with a flat-edged utensil to release all the tasty brown bits.

Heat the oven to 180C

Add the pork back to the pan and add enough water so the pork pieces are 2/3 submerged in liquid. Add the cinnamon stick and stir in the chile powders, bay leaves, cumin and garlic.
Braise in the oven uncovered for 3½ hours, turning the meat a few times during cooking, until much of the liquid is evaporated and it is falling apart. Remove the pan from the oven and lift the meatpieces out of the liquid and set them on a platter.

Once they are cool enough to handle, shred them into bite-sized pieces, about 2-inches (7 cm), discarding any obvious big chunks of fat if you wish.(if using pork

Return the pork pieces back to the roasting pan and cook in the oven, turning occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and the pork is crispy and caramelized. It will depend on how much liquid the pork gave off, and how crackly you want them.

It should be deeply, darkly, crispy brown on the outside.

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