Archive for the 'pork' Category

Slow-Roasted Pork Carnitas with Orange and Milk

Pork Carnitas 3 Slow Roasted Pork Carnitas with Orange and Milk

There are plenty of yummy things to be done with a pork shoulder. It’s one of those inexpensive cuts that needs long, slow cooking to break down the tough connective tissues, but winds up far more tender than even the most expensive cuts, with far more flavour.

I had one the size of a turkey in my basement freezer, so when I spontaneously invited a dozen or so friends over for dinner on Saturday night, it was an excuse to haul it out and let it roast in the oven all day. Pulled pork is a Very Delicious Thing that people tend to get excited about, and if you have a big braising pot – which you must, if you’re going to cook the thing – you can set it right out on your table with soft tortillas and all manner of chopped-up tasty things and let large groups go to town.

Pork Carnitas 2 Slow Roasted Pork Carnitas with Orange and Milk

But if you don’t want to go the dry rub-BBQ sauce route, butt naked (get it? pork butt?) slow roasted pork is delicious enough as is – just like roast chicken or beef. In this case a cupful of milk and an orange brings out the pork’s sweetness while adding a subtle citrus tang; you can pull it apart with forks, set it out right in the pan and let everyone make their own little carnitas – “little meats” – it’s the new-fangled version of those taco kits we used to get when we were kids. (Bonus: a ginourmous pork shoulder takes as much time, heat and effort as a small one, and leftovers freeze beautifully; they could reappear doused in BBQ sauce with slaw on soft buns and no one would recognize them.)

Same amount of work, and no seasoning packet.

Slow-Roasted Pork Carnitas with Orange and Milk

This could be done in the slow cooker, but I love the way the oven produces dark, sticky bits, intensifies flavours and prevents the meat from going mushy. Adapted from Epicurious.

2-3 lb boneless pork shoulder (butt) or boneless country pork ribs
canola or olive oil or lard, for cooking
1 orange, washed and quartered
1 cup whole milk
salt and pepper

For serving:
corn tortillas, warmed
avocado, diced
finely chopped onion
sour cream

Preheat the oven to 300F. Cut the meat into a few chunks, heat a generous drizzle of oil or dab of lard in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and brown the meat on all sides, transferring it to a baking dish as it browns. Squeeze the orange wedges over the meat and toss in the rinds alongside; pour the milk overtop, then add enough water to almost cover the meat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, cover with a tight-fitting lid and bake for 3 hours, until the meat is very tender.

Break or pull the meat apart into smaller pieces, remove and discard the orange rind, and turn the oven up to 375F. Roast the meat uncovered for 20-30 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the meat is crisp and brown on the edges.

Place the pot of pork directly on the table and surround with corn tortillas and accessories; let everyone serve themselves by piling pork, avocado, onion, salsa, sour cream and cilantro on their own corn tortillas. Serves lots.

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September 29 2013 | pork | 5 Comments »

Pulled Pork with Peaches & Peach Ketchup

Peach ketchup Collage Pulled Pork with Peaches & Peach Ketchup

Can we have peach week please? There’s still time.

Did something go awry with peach season, or does it always linger this late? Looking at the ginormous bins of peaches alongside tomatoes, peppers and zucchini feels like every year at Easter, when I wonder aloud to anyone who might know whether it’s the Friday or Monday that’s the holiday? And who gets it off again? And what day do you hunt for eggs and eat the ham? And why can’t I remember how it goes from year to year? Maybe I’m overthinking things, but it’s never a bad idea to stock up on peaches when they might be the last of the season.

Awake with insomnia, skimming food blogs I haven’t visited in awhile, pondering what to do with all those peaches (it’s what I do) I came across Delicious Days (hello, old friend!) at about midnight last night, and on it this tangy peach ketchup, which is really like a pureed chutney. Sweet, vinegary and mildly spiced, I was up before the sun making it (more of what I do), which is why I didn’t manage to document its creation – it came to be before there was enough light to get a good look.

I’m not one to jar my own peach halves in simple syrup, but I do love a good chutneyketchup. And a reason to buy more peaches. And a reason to make samosas. (For dipping in said ketchup, that is.)

Peach Ketchup

Adapted from Delicious Days.

canola or other vegetable oil, for cooking
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1-2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
2 Tbsp. tomato paste or 1/4 cup tomato sauce
1/4-1/2 tsp. curry powder or paste
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup white balsamic or white wine vinegar
4 large-ish peaches, unpeeled
2-3 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
salt to taste

In a medium saucepan, heat a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat and saute the onion for 3-4 minutes, until soft; add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste, curry powder and cinnamon and cook for another minute.

Add the vinegar and cook until it reduces by about half, then add the peaches, brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, until everything is very soft. Remove from heat and puree with a hand-held immersion blender right in the pot, or carefully transfer to a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Store in jars in the fridge or freezer.

Makes about 2 cups.

But wait! There’s more!

I made something else late at night in the dark, and because I have two recipes that make great use of peaches but only one photo per, I thought I’d live on the edge and offer up two at once! Does that confuse things? Ah well, my index is an unupdated mess anyway. (By the way, thanks to all of you who offered up advice for my site redesign – I’m not sure which is scarier, home renos or blog renos. But you have great ideas, and I’m happy to hear there isn’t a whole lot more broken than I’m already aware of!)

This is pulled pork with peaches. I did it in the slow cooker and sliced fresh peaches right in, so that they softened/melted/caramelized into the pork, adding sweetness (pork & peaches? sounds like a reality show couple) and tanginess and all that makes a peach a peach, sans fuzz. I’ll tell you there were more yummy noises than usual at CBC this morning, and someone in the control room said, mouth full, “Julie? MEGA success, this.” So here you go, in time for slow cooker season.

Pulled pork with peaches Pulled Pork with Peaches & Peach Ketchup

Pulled Pork with Peaches

olive or canola oil, for cooking
1 3-4 lb. pork shoulder
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 peaches, sliced or diced (don’t bother peeling them)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 garlic cloves, crushed

barbecue sauce, to taste
soft buns or biscuits

In a heavy skillet, heat a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat and brown the pork on all sides, turning it with tongs. Transfer to a slow cooker and add the onions to the pan, stirring them around to loosen any browned bits. Add them to the slow cooker along with the peaches, brown sugar, apple cider, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and garlic. (If you like, add a glug of barbecue sauce too.) Cover and cook on low heat for 8 hours.

Pull the pork apart with forks and leave the lid off for awhile to reduce the sauce a bit; add some barbecue sauce if you like as you pull the meat apart, otherwise serve it alongside for people to add their own. Serve piled on soft buns or biscuits. Serves 8-10.

pixel Pulled Pork with Peaches & Peach Ketchup
button print gry20 Pulled Pork with Peaches & Peach Ketchup

September 10 2013 | pork and slow cooker | 19 Comments »

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