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Posts Tagged ‘pork’

Somerset, the county next door (or up North as we say down here in South Devon) is well known for producing excellent cider which is so good it has spawned its own genre of music, Scrumpy and Western, wherein bands sing odes to their favourite drink. Although there are not as many as there once were, apple orchards are a common sight and in a fair few of those you’ll spot pigs merrily roaming under the trees munching up the long grass. Those happy orchard pigs make for super-tasty pork as they fatten up on sweet apples. So it’s no wonder that Somerset is home to many a good recipe combining pork and apples. (more…)

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I usually find that when you buy ribs, even from a good butcher, they come with terrible cooking instructions that result in tough, chewy meat and a wasted opportunity for a great cut of meat. Because ribs are mostly made up of bone and muscle they are more suited to a low and slow cook rather than a quick flash on the barbeque. Taking several hours to cook your ribs at a low temperature make the meat meltingly soft and moist, and if you finish them off on the barbeque or under a hot grill you still get a crispy edges and sticky glaze. I’ve tried several different recipes, most involving keeping the oven at around 90°C for much of the day and they’ve all worked out well (this one is particularly good) but now I’m stuck with a tiny combi oven that won’t go below 150°C I thought tender ribs would just have to wait for the shiny new Electrolux to be installed. And who knows when that may be? (more…)

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Chinese Lunar New Year is upon us again and I can’t wait to head out to watch the parade and firework display that the Chinese Association from the local university put on every year. 2012 is the year of the Dragon which is said to deliver good fortune. With this year bringing our long-awaited and very major kitchen renovation/rebuild we could certainly do with some good fortune. To help with things along I thought it would be a good idea to celebrate by making dumplings which purportedly bring wealth, much like the tradition of eating lentils for New Year in Italy and France. (more…)

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I like to make use of my free time at the weekend by making long and involved recipes or at least recipes that take a long time to cook, they’re not usually very involved. That way I can get on with the gardening/cleaning/DIY as is required. This recipe for carnitas needs three and a half hours cooking at a low temperature to transform the meat in to meltingly tender, juicy bites which are then crisped up under a hot grill. The Coca Cola may seem an odd addition but it tenderises the pork and caramelizes under the grill.

We ate our carnitas wrapped in toasted flour tortillas with a herb salad, quick pickled onion slices and lashings of sour cream to cool the spicy heat. Between the two of us there should have been enough for leftovers on Monday but it was so good we ended up almost finishing the lot. Good thing I went for a run while it was in the oven…

Coca cola carnitas

Serves 3-4

  • 1-1.5kg boned pork shoulder, rind removed
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp cayenne
  • 1 dried chipotle chilli*
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • ½ can Coca Cola (not diet)
  • 60ml vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 130ºC.

Cut the pork into large pieces, about 5cm. Place in an ovenproof dish so the pieces fit tightly together in one layer.

Add the onion, garlic, spices, bay leaves and salt, mix and pour over the cola.

Pour the oil evenly over the top and tightly cover the dish with foil.

Bake for 3½ hours until the pork is tender enough to pull apart. Strain everything through a wire sieve reserving the liquid in a large bowl or jug.

Pull the pork apart into smaller pieces and discard the cooked onion, garlic, bay leaves and spices.

Once the reserved liquid has settled, skim off the fat and add it back to the pork. The juices can be reduced to make a sauce.

At this point you can cover the pork and keep it in the fridge ready to reheat when needed. Or, to serve straight away, heat the grill up as hot as it goes. Put the pork under the grill for 6-10 minutes until the pieces start getting crisp. Stir well so the un-crisped pieces get to the top and grill for another 6-10 minutes.

Serve with which ever Mexican accompaniments you enjoy – tortillas, rice, guacamole, salsa, sour cream, pickles, salad…

*If you can’t get chipotle chillis, try 1-2tsp smoked paprika.

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