You Gonna Eat All That?

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Location: Virginia, United States

(Biscuit Girl)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Mexican Braised Pork Shoulder

While flipping through this month's Cuisine at Home magazine, a recipe caught my eye. Mexican Braised Pork Shoulder. Ever since our cruise in November, anything Mexican has been catching our eyes lately. I read through the ingredients and sent Jim to the market this morning to get what we needed.

The only real time consuming part of the prep work was trimming up the pork shoulder. The rest of the prep was much quicker. In less than an hour, it was all wrapped in banana leaves and popped in the oven. Three hours later this is what it looked like:How did it taste? It was delicious! Not spicy at all and the seasoning was so well balanced. The salsa recipe that accompanies this recipe really added a nice flavor as well. And it was my first time using tomatillas too. Yes, the person who has eaten beef tongue tacos and jellyfish has never had tomatillas before yet alone cooked with them. But trust me, I will use them again.

Mexican Braised Pork Shoulder with Salsa Verde
as adapted from Cuisine at Home
2 tbsp. ground cumin

2 tsp. ground coriander seeds

2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 pork shoulder, trimmed (about 4-6 lbs)
1 package frozen banana leaves, thawed

1 lb. tomatillas, husks removed, halved
1 cup chopped shallots

2 poblano peppers, chopped
4 garlic cloves, smashed

1 jalapeno, seeded, chopped

1/2 cup chicken stock

Preheat the oven to 340 degrees. Combine the cumin, coriander, salt, cinnamon, pepper and cayenne; rub all over the pork shoulder. Sear the pork in oil in a Dutch oven over high heat (about 3 minutes per side) until browned on all sides. Remove the pork, pour off the remaining oil and wipe out the Dutch oven.

Line the Dutch oven with a banana leaf leaving the ends hanging over the sides. Place a second leaf crosswise on top of it. Add the tomatillas, onions, poblanos, garlic, and jalapeno, then place the seared pork shoulder on top. Pour in the chicken stockand fold the leaves over the meat and cover the pan tightly. (The handle on the lid to my Dutch oven isn't oven proof so I used foil to cover it) Braise the pork for about 3 hours or until tender.

Remove the pork from the oven and preheat the broiler to high with the rack about 8 inches from the element. Transfer the pork to a baking sheet and broil until the surface is crispy, turning to get both sides. This will take less than 10 minutes. Let the pork stand while you make the salsa.
To serve, pull the pork from the bone and shred it. Serve with the salsa verde, flour tortillas and any other topping you choose.

Salsa Verde
Braised vegetables from the pork shoulder

3 tomatillas, husks removed, chopped

1 cup cilantro leaves

1/2 cup pan juices, degreased

1 tbsp. lime juice

Strain the vegetables from the Dutch oven. Place them and the remaining ingredients into a food processor and pulse until chunky.


Blogger ScottE. said...

This sounds divine and super easy! I'll be giving this one a try in the near future. gotta share...where do you find frozen banana leaves? Or fresh for that matter?

8:44 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Ah, I should have added where to find banana leaves. Look in ethnic food markets. They are usually in the frozen food section.

8:56 AM  
Blogger ScottE. said...

Thanks. I'll have to see what I can find at my various stores. Certainly have a nice enough ethnic food section, I should find them. This looks very similar to a recipe a friend shared for Kahlua Pork, which she learned from her friends from Hawaii. Roast pork in banana leaves with some spices. Mmmmm. PORK!

8:21 AM  
Blogger Cookie baker Lynn said...

I was wondering about the banana leaves. They're not all that common in the Northwest. Sparks to you for using tomatillos! I've often wondered but never tried.

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great photos…this looks delicious. Thanks for this recipe ! :-)

7:13 PM  
Blogger L said...

I'm so glad you shared that! I love tomatillos. And the banana leaves make it look very exotic. I will have to try that one very soon with some homemade tortilla chips and a corona!

11:52 AM  
Blogger Fiber said...

I haven't used banana leaves yet either, but I see them in the freezer section quite a bit. This looks good, even to a non-meat eater. Love the salsa verde too - I'm a huge fan of tomatillos.

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yum, that sounds absolutely delicious! I'll bet it won't be the last time you use tomatillas either.

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you buy your Pork from a meat market ask them to trim it up for you. Most places will do it gladly.

For the Banana leaves, check a Mexican market if you have one nearby.

6:28 AM  
Blogger The Jerkey said...

Hi! :) I'm basically making the exact same dish sans salsa and pork shoulder and happened to come across this site. I actually just had some bone-in pork chops left over that I mixed with the same spice mixture you did so I'm glad to see great minds think alike. I even added some berbere that I just bought b/c it uses all of the same spices and is really a tasty hot spice.

I've got a tomatillo recipe on my blog too.

One of these days I need to buy myself a darn pork shoulder!

4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had to go to a Mexican food store. (The supermarkets didn't have them)

8:49 AM  

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