Mexican Crispy Pulled Pork - Carnitas
Crispy pulled pork? Shouldn’t pulled pork be tender, dripping with sauce, oozing juices? Well, this is that as well, but taken a step further and crisped up after cooking, with the addition of some grilled and charred peppers. It’s spicy, melting meat, with tender grilled peppers, and a tangy Mexican sauce that leaves your mouth feeling like your tastebuds made a new friend. It’s also easy to make in double quantities so you can have it with rice and tortillas one day and serve it in burritos another day. Or in a sub roll with melted cheese. A dish to make your life easier as well as tastier.
It’s a sort of adaptation of a Mexican street food I think, which would be slow cooked in a kitchen in the back streets, then brought out on a food cart to be given the final grilling and served on a crispy tortilla or flatbread.
Serves 8 Timings – 30 minutes initial preparation, then 6 hours in the slow cooker, 20 minutes final preparation.
Mix all the ingredients for the spice rub together, get the meat into it, and rub well. Put the meat into a large frying pan with a little oil and start to brown it over a medium heat. The oil will run from the marinade and the sugar will start to brown and caramelise. As the meat fries, slice the onion finely, crush the garlic and chop up one of the peppers into 1cm dice. Take the meat out of the pan, put it into the slow cooker or a deep casserole dish. Add the onion, garlic and peppers to the pan and cook about 3 minutes until tender. Add the can of tomatoes and another half can of water, splash of Worcester sauce and a splash of fruit vinegar. Bring to the boil, stir well and add to the slow cooker or casserole. Tuck the bay leaves into the sauce.
Cook on medium heat for 6 hours in the slow cooker or about 3 hours in the oven at 130°C. At the end the meat should be tender and flaking apart.
Take the meat out of the sauce and flake apart using two forks. Take any bones out and discard them, also the bay leaves.
At this stage, you can divide the meat up into portions and freeze what you are not using today. Mix it with some of the sauce in a freezer dish.
(The leftover sauce – which will have tomatoes, peppers, onions and the odd shred of meat in a lovely deep meaty spicy liquid – can be used as the basis for a goulash soup, or used as extra gravy in a meat pie, for instance.)
Cut up the other pepper, into thin strips.
For the final stage, put the meat you are using into a grill proof dish, mix through the fresh pepper. Drizzle over some of the sauce – but carefully, you are not using the whole lot, you don’t want a liquid mix.
Grill under a high heat for a few minutes – taking out and mixing up a few times. The pepper will char and grill, the meat shreds will start to crisp up at the sides. You can also do this in a frying pan, keep turning to get it crispy.
Scatter some chopped fresh coriander over and serve with lime wedges, plain rice and warm tortilla chips.
Some Changes - April 2022
Thanks to my friends and followers for your patience, and for your encouragement to start blogging again.