Tag Archives: Pork

Cochinita Pibil~Slow Roasted Pork in Banana Leaves

What to do when it’s raining out and you can’t grill? The next best thing is a low and slow roasted meal that fills your whole house with delicious aromas. On today’s blog post, I prepared a bone in pork shoulder/butt that was almost 10 pounds and taking up way too much room in my freezer. I knew going into this that from start to finish, I was looking at a good 14 hours. But I also knew that it would be worth it in the end.  This dish is most commonly known as cochinita pibil, but is also known as cochinita con achiote or puerco pibil. Made popular in the Yucatan Peninsula with it’s signature flavors of sour/bitter orange and distint color from the achiote. The traditional way is to roast a whole suckling pig, but most commonly prepared by home cooks with a pork shoulder/butt roast. The acidity of the sour orange juice helps break down and tenderize what could be a tough cut of meat. The results are this fall off the bone tender shreds of pork just perfect for those warm corn tortillas.  Sour oranges are not easy to come by, so fortunate for me, a few of the local markets carry a ready made sour orange marinade that can be added to freshly toasted spices and achiote that comes pretty close to the real deal. 

 

Cochinita Pibil~Slow Roasted Pork Butt/Sholder in an Achiote-Sour Orange Sauce

Cochinita Pibil~Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder/Butt

Cochinita PibilTips~ Instead of the traditional black beans on the side, I chose to serve mine with a roasted beet salad which is delicious when tossed with the rice.

Ingredients…

For Marinade
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons peppercorns
2 teaspoons mexican oregano
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, crushed chile de arbol or piquin
4 to 5 whole cloves
1 inch piece of mexican cinnamon stick

Toasting Spices for Cochinita Pibil

 

Preparing Marinade for Cochinita Pibil

Ingredients Continued..

1 1/2 cups Badia Sour Orange
1/3 cup olive oil
1 to 1 1/2 oz. achiote paste, chopped
6 cloves garlic, sliced
1 small sweet onion, chopped
salt to taste (I added 1 1/2  tsps.)

Tips~ If you cannot find the achiote paste, 3 to 4 tablespoons of achiote powder may be substituted. 

Toasted and Ground Spices for Cochinita  Pibil

 

Marinade/Sauce for Cochinita Pibil

 

 

 

Cochinita Pibil~Achiote, Sour Orange Marinade

Tips~ The Badia brand sour orange is pretty close to using real sour oranges and less expensive than purchasing fresh oranges, lemons and limes that may not always be very juicy. But if you have the good quality produce available, for every orange squeezed, I add 1 lemon or lime.

You will also need
8 to 10 pounds pork shoulder/butt, I trimmed off some of the fat on top
*I used bone in almost 10 pound shoulder
1 pound package of banana leaves
water
salt
Foil paper
Large roasting pan with lid


Tips~ Before you start, make sure that the pork is not frozen. Bring to room temperature for at least 40 to 50 minutes before cooking.

Cochinita Pibil~Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder/Butt

Directions

1. Combine the first 7 ingredients, dry spices, in a skillet and toast at medium/low heat for 5 to 7 minutes. Stirring now and then so they do not burn. Transfer to grinder(coffee grinder) and process until you have a fine ground. Set aside. I have a coffee grinder that I only use for spices.

2. To the blender, add ground spices, sour orange, olive oil, achiote, garlic, onion and salt to taste. Blend on high until smooth. Taste for salt, set aside. I chose to roast my pork right away instead of marinating overnight. But, that is up to you.

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line the bottom of roasting pan with foil paper, fill with about 6 to 7 cups of water. Season the water with 1 to 2 teaspoon of salt. Place a few layers of banana leaves so that they extend outside of pan on all sides. Place pork, fat side up into pan.  Take a sharp knife and cut one inch slits over the top of roast. Pour marinade/sauce evenly over pork and massage into pork.

4. Cover tightly with any remaining banana leaves. Cover with more foil paper. Cover with lid and place on top rack positioned in the center of oven. Imediately reduce temperature to 225 degrees F. Let roast slowly for the next 8 hours. Check for water level halfway through. After the 8th hour, I raised the heat to 325 degrees F. and roasted for another 4 hours or until it was fall off the bone tender.

5. Remove from oven and let rest for a good hour before serving. After removing bone and extra fat, there was about 5 3/4 pounds of meat. I served what I needed and packaged the rest in 1 pound portions in quart size freezer bags. Don’t forget to label and date. Serve with warm corn tortillas, Mexican rice, black beans, habanero-garlic salsa and pickled red onions.

Cocinita Pibil Wrapped in Banana Leaves

 

Cochinita Pibil

 

Cochinita Pibil

 

Cochinita Pibil

It is traditional to serve cochinita pibil with a roased habanero salsa and pickled red onions

 

Roasted Garlic-Garlic Salsa

Roasted Habanero-Garlic Salsa

6 to 8 habanero, roasted
2 cloves garlic, roasted
Juice of 5 key limes
1/4 to 1/4 cup water
salt to taste

Remove stems from habanero. Leave skins on the garlic. Roast  all on a comal or nonstick skillet at medium heat for 15 minutes, turning as needed. Transfer to blender, add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.  

Roasted Habanero-Garlic Salsa

 

Sour Orange Pickled Red Onions

Sour Orange Pickled Red Onions

Tips~ Instead of using more lime, I used some of the leftover sour orange to marinate and quick pickle my onions. I also like adding oregano, chile piquin and fresh green chile. They are all optional. The longer they sit, the more pink in color they will become.

1 medium red onion, sliced thin
1 jalapeño, seeded and julienned
1/2 teaspoon chile piquin, crushed
1/2 teaspoon oregano, crushed
1/3 to 1/2 cup sour orange (Badia brand leftover)
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all of the ingredients. Stir to combine. Let marinate for a few hours, stirring now and then.

 

 

Costillas de Puerco en Chile Colorado (Chile Ancho Braised Pork Ribs)

One of my all time favorite recipes that reminds of Mom and home are Costillas de Puerco en Chile Colorado. These country style boneless ribs are seared and browned at high heat and then braised in a homemade chile ancho sauce for almost 3 hours. The results are a tender, moist and flavorful rib. I don’t think my Mom ever used the boneless version of the country style ribs, but I find them to be economical and you don’t have to worry about any small, sharp bones. My ispiration for wanting to cook these ribs, was that I wanted to prepare a special batch of pork tamales for my good friend Olivia. She used to help me prep for hours in the early mornings when I was cooking a Mexican lunch in one of the local towns. Prep work can be tedious and not everyone has the nack or the patience for it. I often say that it’s my “kitchen therapy”. I wanted to surprise her on our upcoming visit with these tamales. This was the fastest batch of tamales I ever prepared, LOL! Plus I was anxious to try out my new vintage steamer pot that I found for a good price at the antique center. It worked like a charm for a small batch of tamales.  And with the remaining part of the ribs, we enjoyed them with rice,  beans  and warm tortillas. The best!

**Don’t forget to check out my recipe for tamales at the end of this post using the delicious recipe for Costillas de Puerco en Chile Colorado!!

Costillas de Puerco en Chile Colorado

Costillas de Puerco en Chile Colorado

Ingredients

10 chile ancho, stems and seeds removed
2 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
4 cloves garlic
1/2 onion
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon Maggi Sauce
salt to taste

Chile Ancho has to be one of my most favorite of the dried chile peppers.
Chile Ancho has to be one of my most favorite of the dried chile peppers.
Depending on how old the dried pepper are, your sauce can come out anywhere from bright red to a dark reddish brown color.
Depending on how old the dried pepper are, your sauce can come out anywhere from bright red to a dark reddish brown color.

 

You will also need
2 1/2 pounds boneless pork country style ribs
salt
pepper
garlic powder
2 more cups broth

*Grapeseed or canola oil

 

Investing in a few oven proof skillets and pans comes in handy when you have recipes that require you to brown and braise the meat.
Investing in a few oven proof skillets and pans comes in handy when you have recipes that require you to brown and braise the meat.

 

1. Cover the chile ancho with water. Bring to a boil , reduce the heat and cook for 10 minutes. Drain the liquid and transfer to the blender. To the chiles, add 2 cups broth, cumin seeds, garlic, onion, oregano, pepper, Maggi sauce, and salt to taste. Blend on high until smooth. Set aside.

2. Season the pork with salt, pepper and garlic powder on both sides. In a deep skillet, add 4 tablespoons of oil. Preheat to medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the pork to hot pan and brown on all sides, turning as needed.

3. Add the sauce from blender and 2 remaining cups of chicken broth to the ribs in pan. Stir to combine, reduce heat. Cover and cook on the stove top at a low simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. You could also finish cooking it in a 350 degree oven for or in the slow cooker(on high) for about the same time. If the chile sauce gets too thick, add a little more water or broth as it cooks. Yields 4 to 6 servings.

 

This recipe was ans still is a favorite among all of my siblings. Most often, my mom prepared the recipe with bone in ribs.
This recipe was ans still is a favorite among all of my siblings. Most often, my mom prepared the recipe with bone in ribs.
Not only are these ribs great to serve as is, but I took about 1 pound of the ribs and chopped them up. The next day I prepared a small batch of tamales for a good friend.
Not only are these ribs great to serve as is, but I took about 1 pound of the ribs and chopped them up. The next day I prepared a small batch of tamales for a good friend.
Love that the pot is so light weight and did an excellent job on steaming the tamales!
Love that the pot is so light weight and did an excellent job on steaming the tamales!
Two cups of pork filling with about 2 full cups of prepared masa for tamales yields about 14 tamales.
Two cups of pork filling with about 2 full cups of prepared masa for tamales yields about 14 tamales.

Once you prepare you chile colorado sauce for the costillas de puerco from recipe above, reserve 1/2 cup of the sauce. This will be the sauce you add to the masa for tamales.

Chile Colorado Pork Tamales

Masa
4 cups masa harina
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup chile ancho sauce
3 1/2 cups warm chicken broth
1 cup pork manteca or shortening, melted

You Will Also Need

30 to 40 cornhusk for tamales

4 full cups of cooled pork filling, finely chopped

 

1. I would suggest you soak the cornhusk overnight in some really hot water. The next day, drain the water and cover with more hot water before using.


2. Mix the dry ingredients. Mix in the warm broth and chile sauce until dough forms. Gradually mix in the manteca or shortening until well incorporated. Taste for salt, cover and let set for 30 minutes.

3. Set up your assembly station with cornhusk, masa and filling. Take a cornhusk, shake off excess water and spread with masa on the bottom half, about 3 tablespoons of masa. Fill down the center with 2 tablespoons of pork filling. Fold in the sides to close, then fold down top flap. Place seam side down onto tray until you are done filling.

4. Fill the bottom of a steamer pot with water. Place the filled tamales, open side up, in a steamer pot. Bring to a quick boil on high heat, Lower the temperature to medium and steam for a good hour and 15 minutes. I like to set my timer for every 30 minutes and fill steamer with 2 more cups of hot water. You never want to run out of water when steaming the tamales. It’s best to have a little too much than run out.

5. When time is up, just shut off the heat and let tamales set up in the pot for 30 minutes or more. To test a tamal right away, pull one out and let it cool slightly. The husk should pull away from the tamal easily. The cooler they get the more firm they will become. This recipe yields 30 good size tamales. * I prepared only half of the tamales on this day and left the rest for another day. That’s why the steamer pot was not full.

Place filled tamales seam side down as you fill them.
Place filled tamales seam side down as you fill them.
Usually when I get to the last taml, there is an odd amount of masa left, so I just take it all and make one big tamal, lol!  They are known as el tamal borracho.
Usually when I get to the last taml, there is an odd amount of masa left, so I just take it all and make one big tamal, lol! They are known as el tamal borracho.
When I don't have enough tamales to fit the steamer pot, I will insert a heat safe bowl or small pot in the center. This will keep the tamales from falling  over and becoming mis-shapen while they steam.
When I don’t have enough tamales to fit the steamer pot, I will insert a heat safe bowl or small pot in the center. This will keep the tamales from falling over and becoming mis-shapen while they steam.
You know the tamal is tasty when it can stand on it's own without adding salsa. But again, the salsa verde is a must  and the way I remember enjoying them at home.
You know the tamal is tasty when it can stand on it’s own without adding salsa. But again, the salsa verde is a must and the way I remember enjoying them at home.

 

 

Pork Tenderloin Tips~Prepared Two Ways

For today’s blog post I was fortunate to find a large package of pork tenderloin tips  at a great price. I decided to prepare two different recipes to get the most out of my money. For the first recipe I prepared Pork Tenderloin Tips in Salsa Verde. This dish can be serve simply over rice or slice into smaller pieces for a tasty taco, enchilada or burrito filling. Salsa Verde pairs very well with pork and the tenderloin tips were tender and moist. For the second recipe I was looking to try out a new appetizer that would be both simple and delicious. The precooked bacon works well for any recipe that calls for wrapping, whether it’s for meat, vegetables or jalapeños.  I would not suggest using the precooked bacon from the store because it is very thin compared to what I used for this recipe. My inspiration for this recipe was of course the pork tips, but also the zesty sriracha seasoning I found. It really does taste very much like the hot sauce, but in a dry rub form. I try to challenge myself to learn a new cooking technique or method that I can incorporate into my everyday cooking. My favorite to date is the searing of meats on the stove top and finishing the cooking in the oven.  With the help of my trusty instant read thermometer and stove timer, I have had great success when it comes to this cooking method. The results are always a well cooked piece of meat.

 

Pork Tenderloin Tips in Salsa Verde

Pork Tenderloin Tips in Salsa Verde
Pork Tenderloin Tips in Salsa Verde

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin tips
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon chile pepper flakes
2 teaspoons lemon pepper ( I use a low salt, coarse grind)
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
Coarse sea salt or kosher salt to taste (I used a sea salt with chile flakes)

Olive oil
Salt
Pepper

For Salsa
10 to 12 tomatillos, peeled and washed
1 small red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 to 3 serranos, finely diced
Salt to taste
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Try toasting and griding your own spices. The flavors are amazing!
Try toasting and griding your own spices. The flavors are amazing!
Fresh Tomatillos
Fresh Tomatillos
Pork Tenderloin Tips in Salsa Verde
Pork Tenderloin Tips in Salsa Verde

Directions

1. Slice the pork tips into equal size pieces for more even cooking, set aside. Heat a small skillet to medium and toast the cumin seeds and oregano for a few minutes or until they become aromatic. Transfer to a mortar, along with the red pepper flakes and crush as fine as you can. Season the pork with spice mix from mortar, lemon pepper, garlic and salt to taste. Cover and set aside if cooking right away or marinate overnight.

2. Add the tomatillos to a pot, cover with water. For a smoother salsa, you cook add the onion, serrano and garlic to the boiling water with tomatillos and blend all together. I like to saute my onion mixture separately. Bring tomatillos to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Drain all of the water, transfer to the blender and let cool while you prep the other ingredients.

3. In a large, oven safe skillet, preheat 3 tablespoons of olive oil to medium for a few minutes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Brown and sear the pork tips on all sides, transfer the whole pan to the oven and cook for another 10 to 12 minutes.

4. In a separate skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil to medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and serrano. Season lightly with salt and pepper and saute for 6 to 8 minutes. Blend the tomatillos until smooth, add to skillet with onion mixture and cook at a low simmer for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Remove pork from oven and pour warm salsa over the pork and stir gently to scrape all the bits off the bottom of pan. Fold in the fresh cilantro. Yields 4 servings. Serve with rice, beans and warm tortillas.

Pork Tenderloin Tips In Salsa Verde
Pork Tenderloin Tips In Salsa Verde
I was lucky to find this almost 3 pound package of pork tenderloin tips for a great price!
I was lucky to find this almost 3 pound package of pork tenderloin tips for a great price!
Getting the most out of my spices in the pantry
Getting the most out of my spices in the pantry

 

 

Bacon Wrapped Sriracha Pork Tenderloin Tips

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Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin tips sliced into 12 equal pieces
2 teaspoons sriracha rub and seasoning
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon chile flakes
Sea salt or kosher salt to taste (I used a sea salt with chile flakes)

You will also need
12 strips thick cut bacon ( I like to slice my bacon so it just overlaps around the pork)
Olive oil
Sriracha hot sauce for basting

Found a sriracha dry rub/seasoning and I love it! Great for these pork tenderloin tips.
Found a sriracha dry rub/seasoning and I love it! Great for these pork tenderloin tips.
Precooking the bacon this way worked out great! It was still soft and pliable for wrapping the pork.
Precooking the bacon this way worked out great! It was still soft and pliable for wrapping the pork.

Directions

1. Season the pork tips with sriracha seasoning, pepper, garlic, chile flakes and salt to taste. Cover and chill for 1 hour or overnight.

2. To precook bacon, place the strips on a lined baking sheet. Place in cold oven and heat to 400 degrees F. Set your timer for 13 minutes. Remove from oven, transfer to a clean plate and let cool.

3. When ready, wrap the pork tips tightly with the precooked bacon, using a toothpick if needed. Season with a little more siraracha seasoning, set aside. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

4. In an oven safe large skillet or cast iron pan, preheat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat. When hot, sear and brown the bacon wrapped pork for 4 minutes per side. trying to brown most sides. Transfer to preheated oven and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven, baste generously with sriracha hot sauce and place back under the broiler for 2 minutes.  If you are unsure that the pork is cooked all the way through, just take an instant read digital thermometer and insert in deepest cut of meat. You are looking for a temperature of between 145 to 150 degrees F. Remove from oven, tent loosely with foil paper and let sit for a few minutes. Remove toothpicks and serve right away. Yields 4 to 6 servings

Bacon Wrapped Sriracha Pork Tenderloin Tips
Bacon Wrapped Sriracha Pork Tenderloin Tips
Bacon Wrapped Sriracha Pork Tenderloin Tips
Bacon Wrapped Sriracha Pork Tenderloin Tips