List Item: Try half of the combined 1001 food books
So here I am. Staring at a plate of pulled pork sat next to some corn tortillas. We also have guacamole, soured cream and a red wine vinegar/onion sauce. This meal has been two days in the making and it is going to be over in a matter of minutes.
Two days ago
|Food item: Annatto Seed||Food item: Cochinita al Pibil and Coriander Seeds|
Since a good friend of hub and I was coming to stay over the weekend. Seeing how I like to play house/host when people are round I was thumbing through the second 1001 Foods book looking for inspiration. The idea of making my own pulled pork hit me right away.
During our weekly Tesco shop I found a recipe for Cochinita al Pibil and managed to secure all the ingredients bar one: the achiote paste. I hope I am not alone in having never heard of that. I managed to secure some of this on Mexgrocer (as well as buying something else to be used later) so the pulled pork was back on!
The interesting thing about the achiote paste was just how red it was. That is the huge influence of the annatto seed (whose plant of origin is nicknamed the lipstick tree). As I was rubbing it into the pork shoulder I got a huge whiff of an earthy smell that I would normally associate with cumin. My nailbeds were blood red for a good day and a half despite a lot of Lady Macbeth style handwashing.
After adding in ground coriander seeds, chipotle-infused Tabasco, 4 hand squeezed lemons and a variety of other ingredients; I left the pork marinating in the fridge for 48 hours, turning it over after 24 hours in.
30 minutes ago
|Food item: Epazote||Food item: Frijoles Refritos|
Whilst buying the achiote paste I also got my hands on some dried epazote leaves. I read in the book that they were known to alleviate some of the more unpleasant side effects when eating beans. I just could not help testing this by adding some to a tin of refried beans and serving that with the pork.
The epazote really added a different flavour to the beans which was hard to put my finger on. It was somewhere in the region of mint and tarragon… but not quite. It’s one of those herbs I might try in the future when I am experimenting in the kitchen.
Back To The Present
When the pork came out of the oven the meat was already starting to fall off the bone. A short while later and all the meat was separated from the bone and fat. It was then straight to the table to be wrapped up with soured cream, refried beans and guacamole.
Okay, so it took me two days to make this dish, but it really is remarkably simple. I know that when I make this again there will be more chilli added to the marinade in order to make this feel more authentic. I might also get a better quality pork shoulder… I went for Tesco Basics and I wonder if that makes a difference here.
Also invited to the party were some tortilla chips and this spicy cheese dip. Ever since I saw the characters in Boyhood eating a bowl of this I wanted to try this ‘queso’ of which they spoke. It’s a jar that allegedly holds 13 servings… but the three of us just demolished it.
Yes, it was that good. I want more now.