Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Pibil:  Braised and Pulled Citrus Chili Pork
for Tacos

Ingredients for my Citrus Braised Pulled Pork for Tacos

I am absolutely in love with pulled pork for tacos.  I have braised pork shoulder butt roasts in several ways, but this citrus braise is my favorite. I have come to understand that my pictures reflect too many items on a cutting board, things that should not be together in one place, so consider me educated now, and that pictures like this will Only be taken to show ingredients, but they will never be chopped on the same board without thorough sanitation first. I have not cut vegetables on the same board as meats before, but I Have placed meats (plated or packaged) and veggies on the same board to show the ingredients. Thank you for your patience with my jumbled photos. 

That aside, here's my starting line-up:

2-3 pound pork shoulder butt roast

2 large red or yellow onion, one finely chopped and one sliced into discs

3 guajillo or chili ancho pods, seeded and reconstituted in hot water (I also like to add a pinch of salt and a crushed clove of garlic to the chili water)

2 oranges, peeled and sliced into discs

2 limes, peeled and sliced into discs + one extra lime

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped, or minced + one for the chilies

2 tablespoons smoked paprika + tablespoon smoked paprika, separated

2 tablespoons ground coriander (or 1 tablespoon crushed coriander seeds), separated

1 teaspoon ground or grated ginger  (for bite)

2 teaspoons chipotle powder, separated

2 tablespoons cumin seeds, ground with mortar and pestle or ground cumin powder, separated

1 large box or two cans of chicken stock or broth  (beef, if you prefer)

*Separate the powders.  Place both parts into two separate bowls.  In one of the bowls, add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and the juice of one lime, and in the other, just the powders.  

Mix with a fork or spoon, the powders with the evoo and lime juice.  Add the finely chopped garlic and mix together well. Slather the mixture all over the roast and let sit for twenty minutes. 

Meanwhile, pour the reconstituted chilies and a fourth of the water into a food processor or blender, add one of the garlic cloves, chopped, and process into a paste. If the paste is very thick, add a little bit more of the water until it becomes a little thinner.  Set aside.  In addition, preheat the oven to 275 degrees.

To a large dutch oven, over high heat, add two or three tablespoons (two or three times around the pot).  When the oil ripples, add the roast and sear on all sides until a golden crust forms.  Remove the roast when crusted and set aside.  Reduce the heat completely, and set the onion slices on the bottom of the pot as a bed for the roast, and place the orange slices over the onions. Place the roast atop of slices, and pour the stock into the pot, now, over medium-high heat.  Add the chili paste over the roast.  If the stock does not near the top of the roast, add enough water to just reach the top of the roast. Add the onions and the rest of the garlic to the pot, as well as all the rest of the dry spices an stir as the liquid comes to a boil.  

Place the dutch oven, covered, into the oven.  Let the roast braise for 3 - 4 hours.  I leave it in for four hours.  The flavors are amazing!  

Carefully remove the roast when done - and it will come out in shreds and chunks and pieces - and finish shredding.  After four hours, it will only take moments, rather than minutes!  The house will smell amazing, and the citrus aroma make you extremely happy.  I promise!!!

Add to corn or flour tortillas, add your favorite garnishes and condiments, and enjoy!  You can also serve this over rice with verde sauce and enjoy as carnitas!


Actually, the above picture is my braising short ribs, but I wanted to give you a view of what the dutch oven ought to look like bringing the liquids to a boil. 

I hope you make this and enjoy it as much as I do!