These days my diet is mostly vegetarian, but every now and again I do get cravings of the carnivorous variety that just won’t go away. This slow cooked pork is fragrant with cumin and coriander with some gentle heat from chipotles in adobo and powdered ancho chilli, brought together by a thick tomato and onion based sauce. I made various sides to go with this – onions pickled in vinegar, guacamole, grated cheese and also black beans to please the vegetarian in our household – and then piled it on to little tacos.
A word about tacos and tortillas here. I find the majority of tortilla wraps just awful, they are kind of plasticky and don’t really taste of anything at all, proper Mexican tortillas they ain’t. If you can pick up some better quality tortillas or have time to make your own then everything will taste all the better. I’ve been using the square wraps Warburtons bought out recently, they are more bready and less plasticky and just taste a bit more real. For the tacos I just used a cookie cutter to make little rounds.
Slow Cooked Chipotle & Ancho Pork
based on a recipe from Food 52, with different chillies.
serves 2 (or one greedy person with leftovers)
1 tsp of cumin seeds
1 tsp of coriander seeds
350g of pork shoulder, cubed
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 red chilli, diced
2 cloves of garlic
about 1 inch piece of dried ancho chilli, finely chopped or blitzed in a food processor
1/2 chipotle in adobo plus a bit of adobo sauce
2 tsp of dried oregano
1/2 can of peeled plum tomatoes
1 pint chicken or vegetable stock
oil for frying
Heat up a large casserole dish on the hob. Toast the cumin and coriander seeds for a few minutes, keep them moving so they don’t burn. Transfer to a pestle and mortar and crush the seeds. Heat some groundnut or sunflower oil in the dish and brown the pork on all sides, do this in batches if it doesn’t fit. Season the pork whilst it is browning. Put the pork in a bowl and set aside.
Fry the onions next til softened, then add in the chilli and garlic and fry for a minute. Add in your ground spices, dried oregano, ancho and chipotle in adobo. Then add your pork back in and stir everything together, fry for a minute before adding your tomatoes and stock along with salt and pepper. The meat needs to be totally covered with stock, top up with boiling water if it isn’t.
Bring to the boil, then cover and reduce to the lowest temperature. Bubble away for at least 2 hours, maximum about 4. When the meat is falling apart and tender it is ready to eat.
Remove the pork from the sauce. Blend up the sauce to help thicken it and then turn the heat up high to reduce the sauce, it should take about 5-10 minutes. Once it is nice and thick add in some fresh coriander and shred the pork and mix into the sauce. I removed the fat when I added the pork back in, I don’t like the texture of it when it is cooked like this, and once the pork has slow cooked the fat has done its job to help add flavour to the meat.
Get all your sides ready whilst the sauce is thickening and then pile onto tacos and go!
I’ll be having the rest of this pork tomorrow in a burrito and I can’t wait.
More and more little delis and farm shops are stocking interesting dried chillies now, and you can find chipotles in adobo in a few places too (Cambridge people – the Cheese Shop sells them). If not you can find all of them at Mex Grocer, including proper tortillas.