Monday, January 10, 2011

Succulant and crispy pork

This is my secret weapon recipe. It's easy, delicious and can be multiplied easily for a large crowd.

5 lbs boneless pork shoulder - cut in 5 inch chunks
1-2 Tbs kosher salt
4 Tbs canola oil
Several cups beef stock
1 cinnamon stick
1 Tbs chili powder (ancho or regular)
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
a pinch of cumin
3 smashed cloves of garlic
Serves 6

Rub pieces of pork with salt. ( Use 1 Tbs if your stock has plenty of salt ) refrigerate 1-3 days.
Heat oil in roasting pan on stove top (high to md high) and sear all sides of pork pieces well.  Do this in several batches so not to crowd.
Put well browned pork on paper towels to blot off oil.
Pour 1 cup of stock in pan and scrap up browned bits of pork. Remove from heat. Preheat oven at 350.
Add pork chunks to the pan and add enough stock to cover pork 2/3rds of the way then add remaining ingredients - chili powders, cayenne, cumin, cinnamon stick & garlic.

Braise in oven 3 1/2 hours uncovered - turning a few times until much of the liquid is gone and pork can be easily pulled apart.  After the pork is pulled apart put back in oven until the pork is crispy and caramelized, maybe 30 min.  (If the liquid evaporates before the pork is ready to be pulled apart or needs more time to get crispy just add more liquid - a cup at a time.) The liquid should be mostly gone by the time the pork is done.

Serve crispy pork pieces on fresh soft rolls for a pulled pork sandwich or on soft tortillas for carnitas. I serve with avocado, sour cream (with chipotle peppers) and tomatoes. You can also use this for taco filling and add tangy cojito cheese. This dish is very rich so I like to have a light and tangy citrus salad with it.

Try it. You'll like it.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

There's a new sheriff in town

His name is Oliver. Max isn't used to being second in command but being the good guy that he is, he complied without argument. Mary is just happy to be in the posse sporting a very cute pigtail look and little Harvey is a doing a good job bringing up the rear. They're a good team and I feel safer with them on my side.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The next generation at our house to decorate Christmas cookies

Oliver leads the way. You never know when you may need to defend your territory.

Max explained to the posse about the dangers of touching the electric fence. The new safety man? You decide.

Everyone loves a little cookie with their icing!