Tag Archives: mexican

Sourdough Flour Tortillas

I have a package of flour tortillas in my freezer for when I want to make wraps or quesadillas but a recent post on a sourdough baking group on FB inspired me to make my own with discard sourdough starter.

The recipe below has been scaled down from the original and the directions have been rewritten with a bit more detail.

Samantha Sunshine’s Sourdough Flour Tortillas – makes 8 x  6-7 inch diameter tortillas

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sourdough starter
1/4 cup water
3 tbsp vegetable oil or melted lard
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder

Mix all the ingredients above together in a large bowl and knead to form a soft dough. You may have to add a bit more flour so it’s not sticky.

Wrap the ball of dough in a sheet of plastic food wrap and rest on the counter for a few minutes.

Divide into 8 portions and roll into balls. Pat each ball down gently to flatten and then roll out to a diameter of 6-7 inches.

Heat a cast iron frying pan or grill pan to medium high heat. Lightly oil the pan, add the tortilla and cook for a few seconds on each side. If you’re concerned about burning, lower the heat a bit (to between medium and medium high) and cook the tortilla for 20-30 seconds on each side. You’ll find the tortilla puffs up in places and the bubbles may char.

NOTE: According to a comment on the FB group, if you let them rest 24 hours wrapped at room temperature, you’ll have a true fermented flour tortilla. I only waited about an hour.

‘Spicy’ Chili and Sweet Cornbread

When I’m happy … I want sushi.

When I’m sad … I want sushi.

When I’m bored … I want… I think you can pretty much figure out where this is going.

BUT, sushi is pricey, so I go digging through the pantry and the freezer for inspiration, and then I come up with dishes that will fill my tummy and not empty out my wallet.

I haven’t made chili in a while and a recent exchange with “The Frugal Hausfrau” about chili and the obsession of some people over what makes the perfect chili came to mind.

So, I decided to make chili and NOT use any commercial chili powder. Instead, I soaked and pureed the last mulato chile in my pantry, and combined it with some frozen chipotle in adobo sauce, ground cumin, minced garlic, and Mexican oregano. All ingredients in the commercial chili powder in some form or other.

‘Spicy’ Chili – makes about 8 servings

1 pound red kidney beans, soaked and cooked until tender
1 pound lean ground beef
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2-1 cup finely diced onion
1-2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 mulato chile, stemmed and seeded, soaked in about 1 cup hot water then pureed in ~1/4 cup of soaking liquid
1 tsp chipotle in adobo sauce (or more if desired)
1 tsp ground cumin powder
1 tsp Mexican oregano, stems and flowers removed and roughly rubbed between palms
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 tsp salt to start, more as needed

Mulato puree and Mexican oregano

In a large dutch oven, over medium heat, saute the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent. Add half (or all) of the mulato chile puree, chipotle, cumin and oregano and fry for a few minutes.

Add the crumbled ground beef and salt and brown, breaking up as you do so.

Add the drained, cooked beans and tomatoes with all their liquid. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat so the contents simmer. Partially cover the pot and simmer for 30 minutes or until the chili is the consistency you prefer. Taste and add more salt if needed.

You may choose to add hot sauce to the pot or to individual servings.

Garnish with diced avocados, grated cheddar or Monterey jack cheese or sour cream and serve with cornbread.

PS: My definition of spicy is ‘flavourful’ NOT ‘hot’. If you want heat, a few splashes of your favourite hot sauce will do the job.

And what bowl of chili is complete without a square or two of sweet cornbread? No jalapeno peppers, whole kernel corn or grated cheese to doctor it up. Just a bit of honey in place of the sugar and I was in chili nirvana. Martha Stewart’s cornbread recipe is almost identical to the one I used but I’ll post it if anyone is curious.

Plain Corn Bread – 16 2-inch squares

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
2-4 tbsp sugar (depending on how sweet you like it to be)**
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk or buttermilk**
1/4 cup cooking oil or melted butter, margarine or shortening

** I used 1/4 cup wildflower honey this time cause I wanted it sweet and buttermilk cause I had some available.

Stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together eggs, milk and oil. Add to flour mixture and stir just until batter is moistened, no more.

Pour into greased 9″ round cast iron skillet (or an 8 inch by 8 inch baking pan, but really, the cast iron makes it taste better) and bake in a pre-heated oven at 425 deg F for 15-20 minutes until golden brown or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Even better … I now have several containers of chili to stash in my freezer. And a tub of cornbread.

Stuffed Pepper Soup with Albondigas

I was planning on sleeping in on Sunday and then doing a quick run to the city market to buy some things I need for next week’s cooking. Well, I picked up a couple of goodies for lunch too, and something NOT on my shopping list.

At around 2 pm, I was bored so I decided to get started on the cooking early.

I was going to make a big pot of stuffed pepper soup since I had a couple of peppers in the crisper and I had bought extra ground beef … and then I had a BRILLIANT idea. Why bother using up a pound of ground beef that I just bought, when I had almost 2 dozen perfectly good cooked albondigas (Mexican meatballs with rice) in the freezer. So, I made the rest of the dish and added the albondigas and 1/2 cup of raw long grain rice for the last 20 minutes of cooking.

A hour later, I had 6-8 servings of an amazing soup hearty enough to be a meal. All it needs is some bread for dipping into it.

International Cooking

What country/nationality’s cooking, other than your own, do you enjoy?

I live in Canada and other than poutine and butter tarts, I can’t really claim that I cook anything that is particularly CANADIAN. Throwing maple syrup into a dish doesn’t make it Canadian, does it?

I enjoy a variety of national cuisines. This past week … I made Chinese (kale and white miso soup), Japanese and Tex-Mex dishes.

Donburi, or Japanese rice bowls, are a great way to use up leftover sushi rice. Chicken is one of my favourite proteins to top the rice bowl. The beef version was a new one for me though I didn’t have the paper thin fatty beef that is usually used and ended up with some chewy strips of sirloin steak. It still tasted good, though.

Chicken katsu (cutlet) with scrambled egg poached in the simmering sauce …

… and gyudon (beef) with egg. In Japan a raw egg is broken over the hot rice bowl but our eggs aren’t safe to eat raw so I poached mine. Paper thin cut fatty beef is preferred for quick cooking time and flavour. I garnished the rice bowl with shredded pickled ginger and green onion. And the pink, white and green colours looked pretty too.

I made a half dozen crab stick and avocado hand rolls with the rest of the sushi rice.

As for Tex-Mex … well, it’s better than going to Taco Bell. (Even if it IS an occasional guilty pleasure.)

Beef fajitas

Tamales are more Mexican than Tex-Mex but I’m going to throw them into the mix.

And, lest I forget … an iced Thai coffee to beat the heat. One of these days, I’ll make a more expansive Thai menu.

Iced Thai Coffee

Make double strength coffee and let cool to room temperature. If you like cardamom, a pinch or two added to the coffee while you’re brewing it is tasty.

In a tall glass, add a few ice cubes, 1-2 tbsp of sweetened condensed milk depending on how sweet you like your coffee. Pour the coffee over the ice cubes.

Pine Nut Brittle and a Break

I  think I’m going to take a bit of a break … not sure how long though so I’ll leave you with a quick candy recipe post. This will give anyone reading a chance to catch up on earlier posts which they may have missed (hint) and give ME a chance to come up with some ideas for what to make during my two months of summer break.

POSSIBLE projects are mostly rehashes of things I haven’t made in ages … like cannoli shells, potstickers, pastas (I’ve been meaning to try a beet puree for colouring), yaki onigiri. (I may add more ideas here as they come to me. Right now I’m too hungry to think clearly.)

I had a brittle craving a while ago, but the only nuts in the house were pine nuts from my freezer, so that’s what I went with. Not cheap to make compared to something like a peanut brittle, but OH SO GOOD.

Pine Nut Brittle

A very simple basic brittle recipe using equal amounts by weight of sugar (100 g /1/2 cup sugar, 100 gm/1 cup pine nuts, 1 tsp butter, a pinch of baking soda, a pinch of sea salt and a few finely minced fresh rosemary leaves).

I made a second batch in which I doubled the sugar and halved the nuts. It was good too and more economical on the nuts if that’s a concern. Here’s a picture of the two versions for comparison. At least I could spread out the 2nd batch of brittle more thinly on the sheet.

Meal Round-up

Breakfast of sourdough starter pancakes topped with macerated strawberries and maple syrup, eggs over easy and LOTS of bacon.

Various chicken dishes: a disappointing chicken kebab recipe which was transformed into a chicken shawarma wrap, a couple of ways to serve leftover shredded chicken mole

Leftover pea-meal bacon roast, mac and cheese and peas … all from the freezer

Potato salad with hardboiled eggs with my home made blender mayonnaise.

Albondigas (Mexican Meatball) Soup and Cafe Bombon

I had planned on a Greek themed cooking weekend inspired by a package of phyllo dough in my freezer … galactoboureko and spanakotheropita and dolmathes. (I keep seeing those jars of brined grape leaves in the grocery store). I even wrote them down on a piece of paper.

And then I picked up a two pound package of fresh lean ground beef on sale at Freshco and decided to make albondigas (Mexican meatball) soup since my friend Spikesgirl58 had shared her recipe with me earlier in the week. Well, I started with her recipe.

And then I made a few changes.

Are you surprised?

I figure that about 90% of the recipe is hers.

I thawed the rest of the 1 pound package of home made Mexican chorizo to add to the meatball mixture, and picked up some other items on Saturday morning, including baby spinach, fresh cilantro and limes.

Spikesgirl’s Albondigas (Meatball) Soup – makes 6 – 8 main-dish servings

Meatballs – makes 40-44 meatballs, use half of the meatballs in soup below

1 1/2 – 2 pounds lean ground beef (or half beef and half raw chorizo sausage**)
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp salt
1 egg, well beaten
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1** – 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro**, mint** and oregano), coarsely chopped
2 tbsp – 1/4 cup** rice

Soup

6 cups chicken stock
4 cups beef stock or consommé
1/2 tsp dried oregano (Mexican or Greek)
1 medium sized onion coarsely chopped
4 medium /6 small carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 cup chopped tomatoes or canned with liquid (optional)
1/2** – 1 cup frozen corn (optional)
1/2** – 1 cup frozen peas (optional)
1/2** – 3/4 pound baby spinach
2 to 3 limes, cut into wedges

** Amounts I used

Combine ground beef/chorizo, bread crumbs, rice, garlic, red pepper flakes, chopped herbs, salt and egg. Form into meatballs about 1 inch in diameter (~2 tbsp).

In an 8 quart kettle, combine the chicken stock with the beef stock, onions and oregano.

Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer. Drop the meatballs into the stock.

Simmer meatballs for about 5 minutes, then spoon off any fat. (THIS IS IMPORTANT … I didn’t do it and ended up with a layer of fat on top of my soup.)

Add the carrots and potatoes. Continue simmering, uncovered, for about 20 minutes or until carrots and potatoes are tender to bite.

Meanwhile, clean spinach discarding the tough stems. Wash leaves and chop the large ones in half. Add to stock along with corn/peas and tomatoes and cook, uncovered, for an additional 5 minutes.

“Ladle into bowls and pass limes,” according to Spikesgirl.

* * *

I used the second pound of ground beef for some spaghetti sauce and threw in some other leftover items from my freezer including sauteed mushrooms and pureed tomatoes.

Cafe Bombon

I thought this coffee drink would pair well with a Mexican soup as it has Spanish/Mexican roots … being equal parts sweetened condensed milk topped with piping hot espresso. Serve in a tall clear glass with a spoon so your guests can admire the layers and then stir and sip this VERY sweet drink. It cools quickly by the way.

Carrot Cake, Tamales and Savoury Empanadas

My freezer/pantry clear out has taken a serious turn and I can finally see the bottom of the upstairs freezer. And there are darned few things left in there so I’ve had to be creative.

Even the carrot cake was partially made with a freezer item, the last of a bag of walnuts from Costco. I DID have to buy a can of crushed pineapple though. And, killing two birds with one stone … carrot cake is on my cooking bucket list. I haven’t crossed anything off it in ages. The results were great. I used a recipe I found on Fridgg, even though I had several recipes stored away already on my hard drive. That ‘shiny, new’ tendency strikes again.

Pineapple carrot cupcakes with orange cream cheese frosting and a garnish of walnut halves

I made half the recipe and baked 12 large cupcakes with the resulting batter. Perfect for a single person or couple.

The tamales were made with the last of a bag of Maseca brand masa harina and dried corn husks from my storage area. Instead of water I used frozen ham broth from the picnic shoulder ham I boiled a while ago to flavour the tamales. I made a shredded mole chicken filling with poached bone in chicken breasts. The mole paste was a jarred brand, Dona Maria. The filling wasn’t quite as good as the pulled pork I’ve used in the past but beggars can’t be choosers.

Destined for the freezer and quick meals

Tamales with a bit of mole sauce to drizzle over

Steamed tamales

The savoury Mexican chorizo and potato empanadas were made with home made chorizo and pie crust (Tenderflake lard recipe from the box) from my freezer. I got 2 dozen 5″ diameter empanadas from a bit less than 1 pound of fried chorizo and some limp potatoes from the basement, cubed and pan fried until brown and crispy.

Pan fried potatoes and chorizo filling

Tamales Day #2 – From Making the Masa to the finished Tamale

Picture Heavy Warning: Many pics … everywhere! I proof read this post as carefully as possible, but, if something is confusing, please ask for clarification.

The finished tamales with various sauces (from left to right): Strained pork braising liquid, salsa (Hot Old El Paso cause I didn’t have the energy to make any from scratch) and a mole made with 2 parts pork braising liquid and 1 part Dona Maria mole sauce. They were all good.

Possible servings photo IMG1082_zps4c816d30.jpg

Tamale with mole sauce

Tamale with mole photo IMG1085_zps7279a2a3.jpg

Inside the pork with mole

Inside the tamale photo IMG1088_zpsd062b3a7.jpg

Day 2

Now that you’ve got your pulled pork filling ready, it’s time to make the masa, assemble your tamales, steam them and then, FINALLY, it’s time to EAT.

Assembling the steamer basket:

Steamer inserts from left to right: steamer stand, collapsible steamer and cake cooling rack

Stand, collapsible steamer basket and cooling rack photo IMG1012_zpse8248f34.jpg

Stacked steamer set up

Steamer assembly photo IMG1013_zps57f1265d.jpg

Steamer Assembly in Stockpot

Inside the stockpot/steamer photo IMG1014_zpse932e648.jpg

By the way, I let my steamer run dry because it vented steam like mad and I didn’t realize that most of the water had evaporated so quickly, though I suspected something had happened from the burned smell. Scrubbing the black crust of burnt corn when I was done was NOT fun. 😦  It’s hard to believe that 12 cups boiled away in about 90 minutes but it happened.

For the 2nd batch of tamales, I added at least 4 cups of boiling water every 15 minutes.

Another way to make sure that your steaming pot DOESN’T run dry is to put a couple of pennies in the bottom of the pot full of water. As long as the water is boiling, the pennies will jump around and make a noise. When the noise slows down or STOPS, you’ve run dry.

There are lots of videos about how to assemble the tamales so I’m not going to post any pictures, even though I have a TON. Instead, these are my finished tamales.

Steamed tamale still in the corn husk

Steamed tamales photo IMG1069_zps4d447ea9.jpg

Peeling open the corn husk – the not pretty side of the tamale

Steamed with husk removed photo IMG1070_zps88e21d86.jpg

Pretty side of the tamale ready for saucing

Tamale ready for saucing photo IMG1084_zps8fbcfd6d.jpg

Masa – makes 20-24 tamales

24-28 dried corn husks
4 cups masa harina for tamales (Maseca brand is good)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cup lard
3 1/2 – 4 cups water or stock (chicken or pork), warm

Rehydrating the corn husks

Bring a pot of water, large enough to hold the husks, to the boil. Turn off the heat and remove the pot from the burner, gently submerge the husks, and let them soak for 20-30 minutes. As with pasta, it will take a little while for the husks to become pliable enough to be fully submerged. When ready to fill the husks, drain off some of the hot water and replace it with enough cold water to be able to handle the husks.

NOTE: You can take some of the smaller (narrower) corn husk and tear them into 1/8″ strips for tying or overlap two husks if you run short at the end. For the giant husks, tear off an inch on the side and use that for the ties. Always soak more husks than you need.

Preparing the masa

Whisk together the masa harina, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

Whip the lard in a kitchen stand blender with the paddle for at least 5 minutes to incorporate as much air as possible into the lard.

Gradually add the masa mixture to the lard, a cup at a time, until it has all been mixed into the lard.

With the mixer turned on, gradually add 3 cups of the warm stock to the masa in the bowl. Then add, more stock, 1/4 cup at a time, until the mixture is about the texture of soft cookie dough. Let the dough stand at room temperature (covered with a damp cloth) for 5-10 minutes so that the masa absorbs the liquid evenly.

Assembling the tamale

To wrap the tamales, place 1 soaked corn husk (drain off the excess water or blot a little off if you wish), with the narrow end pointed towards you and the smoother cup shaped side up, on the working surface in front of you. Using a soup spoon, scoop out a heaping tablespoon of the masa and place it down on the husk in about the middle. With your fingers, pat down the masa mixture into a roughly 3×3″ circle (with the lower edge about 1″ from the pointed end of the husk). It should be about 1/4″ thick and as even as you can get it.

Place about a tablespoon of the filling in a strip in the center third of the masa circle. Leave about an inch or less of the masa at the bottom edge (closest to you) free of filling.

Use the husk to enclose the filling. Start by folding up the bottom edge of masa opening up the husk again so that you can see your masa/filling before you fold the next edge. Repeat with the right edge and finally the left edge. Check to make sure that your filling is well covered by the masa and an even log about 1″ inch wide and 3″ long results.

Refold, starting at the bottom, then the right edge and rolling over the left edge to form a snug but not tight bundle.

Tie with a strip of torn corn husk just above the top of the filling.

Repeat until you’ve used up all your masa dough. If you run out of filling, make ’empty’ tamales. They taste just as good with some sauce on top.

Steaming the tamales

Once you’ve wrapped all the tamales, prepare a deep pot with a steamer insert by filling the pot with water until the waterline is just below the level of the steamer insert. Place the tamales in the steamer vertically, with the tied end facing up.

Wet a kitchen towel, and cover the pot with the towel before covering it with the lid. This prevents condensation from forming on the lid, which will drip down and make your tamales watery if you chose NOT to tie them up. Make sure to fold the bits of towel hanging out of the pot up over the lid so they do not catch on fire.

Bring the pot to a boil, then turn down the heat so you can barely see a steady stream of steam escaping. Steam the tamales for 1 1/2 – 2 hours. (I let mine go the full 2 hrs though it would have been fine 15 minutes earlier.) Make sure you check the steamer periodically to make sure you don’t run out of water.

For a sauce, either use the strained braising liquid from the pork filling, a mole sauce (home made or purchased) or a salsa (home made or purchased).

The tamales will keep for about 1 week in the fridge, or for a few months in the freezer. You can re-steam or heat them in the microwave wrapped in a damp paper towel to warm them up.

In conclusion, I want to say that making these tamales was worth the time and effort it took. They’re actually better than ones I’ve ordered in a REAL Mexican restaurant, where they were under-seasoned and less than generous with the filling. These tamales were great without any sauce at all.

For the next batch, I’ll probably try a chicken chile verde filling. I learned a lot and, after eating 3 tamales, I still have 22 left so it’s a good ‘make ahead and freeze for later’ recipe. I also had enough pork filling for about 5 generously filled pulled pork buns. And you can even make vegetarian tamales with baked squash and cheese, if that’s your preference.

Now, I just need someone to come over and do my dishes cause I’m BUSHED and full. 🙂

Tamales Day #1 – The Pulled Pork

Back in 2013, I made one of the items on my food bucket list … tamales.  But, first, I made the pulled pork filling to put inside them.

Making tamales is a multi-step process, especially if you want to make the best darned tamales EVER because you’ve been looking forward to making them for so long.

Day 1

CREDIT: Although I used a combination of several recipes to come up with the pulled pork recipe below, the basic recipe I started with was found here on Ashlee’s “I’m Topsy Turvy” blog. Her green enchilada sauce sounds pretty good for a future chicken tamale filling … when I recover from this marathon session. 🙂

Making a pork filling for tamales can be as simple as roasting a piece of pork seasoned with some salt, pepper and maybe a bit of garlic and then sticking it inside your tamale, or as elaborate as making a braising liquid for the pulled pork using chiles, herbs and spices and then a laborious mole sauce with more chiles, ground seeds etc. and using the spiced meat and sauce to fill your tamales. I chose a method that was somewhere between the two extremes in the number of ingredients and techniques used.

This is the boneless pork shoulder blade roast I started with. The marks are from the large netting while held it into a roast shape.

Whole Pork Shoulder photo IMG120_zps9232ec6c.jpg

The result, almost 3 hrs later, was a pulled pork which made me want to eat the whole thing in buns and forget making the tamales. By the way, it’s amazing how much shrinkage you get from a 3 pound pork shoulder, once you braise it and get rid off all the remaining fat and connective tissue. I can understand wanting to stretch the tasty meat by putting it inside a tamale. 🙂

Pulled Pork Sandwich photo IMG1051_zps22897f8c.jpg

Red Chile Pulled Pork

3 – 3 1/2 pound pork shoulder blade roast, boneless
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 each ancho, guajillo and red chiles, stemmed and seeded
1 medium onion, quartered
5 whole garlic cloves, peeled
5 whole cloves
3″ cinnamon stick
4-5 whole bay leaves, dry toasted
6-10 whole black peppercorns
1/2 tsp whole coriander seeds
1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
1/2 tsp dried Greek oregano (Mexican, if possible)
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 cup diced tomatoes, with liquid
1 tsp salt

Chiles used for the Chile Colorado (red chile) braising liquid: Anchos (dark fat ones), hot red chiles (little ones) and guajillo (long reddish brown ones)

 photo IMG113_zps1bc78d3a.jpg

In a medium sized bowl, break up the chiles and pour in enough boiling water to cover well (1-2 cups). Use another weighted bowl on top to make sure the chiles are submerged. Soak for about 30 minutes, then remove the soaked chiles to a blender. Pour the soaking liquid through a strainer, leaving the grit on the bottom behind, and reserve the liquid to help puree the chiles later.

Cut the pork shoulder into 4 x 1 1/2-2″ thick strips. Brown all sides in vegetable oil in a Dutch oven at medium high heat. A couple of chunks at a time would be best as you don’t want to crowd the pan or lower the heat. Transfer browned pieces to a large bowl until they’re all done then drain off all the accumulated fat in the dutch oven, blotting off any remaining gently with a paper towel so as to retain the browned bits on the bottom.

Sprinkle the salt evenly over the 4 chunks of pork and place them into your dutch oven.

In a dry frying pan, char the quartered onion and the garlic cloves turning over so all sides are done. Remove to the blender with the chiles. Add the oregano and thyme as well as the diced tomatoes with any liquid. Add a bit of the chile soaking liquid and puree until you get a fairly even mixture. (I used all of the draining liquid and it was thick but pourable.) Use 1/3 of this mixture (about 1 cup) to braise the pork. Keep the rest (~2 cups) for another day.

Ground chiles, tomatoes and herbs

Chiles and tomato sauce photo IMG1037_zps8d3171e7.jpg

Charred onions and garlic cloves

Charred onion and garlic photo IMG115_zps9443e726.jpg

Preheat the oven to 325 deg Fahrenheit.

In the same frying pan, toast the bay leaves until just beginning to bubble and brown. Add them to the dutch oven with the pork. Also add the chile-tomato mixture, the coriander and cumin seeds, peppercorns, and the cinnamon stick. If the pork isn’t covered by the mixture, rinse your blender with some water to get the rest of paste dissolved and then add more water as needed. You want to have enough water so that the pork just barely peeks out and is in only one layer in the bottom of the dutch oven.

Toasted bay leaves, cinnamon stick, black peppercorns, cloves, cumin and coriander seeds

Herbs and spices photo IMG118_zps8b99a148.jpg

Place the dutch oven on the stove and heat the contents until they come to a boil. Cover and transfer to the preheated oven. Braise for 2 hrs or until the pork falls apart when you stick a fork into it.

Pork ready for braising

Pork ready for braising photo IMG1035_zpsb305c31f.jpg

Remove the dutch oven to the top of the stove, tilt the pot and, with a large spoon, carefully remove as much of the accumulated fat on top as you can. Return the dutch oven to the oven and cook for another half hour, uncovered, to concentrate the braising liquid. You want about 2 cups of concentrated liquid to be left.

Remove the dutch oven from the oven to the top of the stove again. With a slotted spoon, carefully transfer the meat into a large bowl so that it can cool enough to be handled. When cool, remove fat from the meat and then, very coarsely, shred the meat.

Strain the braising liquid so as to remove the seeds, peppercorns, bay leaves etc. Refrigerate the liquid so that any remaining fat hardens and can be removed and then use the liquid to moisten your pulled pork.

Finished pork ready to be ‘pulled’ or shredded with 2 forks

Finished pulled pork photo IMG1047_zpsd6c1241b.jpg