Vibrant in colour and subtle in flavour. A lovely summer starter for lunch or dinner
Mexican Pulled-Pork Shoulder
Serves 15 easily
This is a great crowd pleaser. Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients. It mainly consists of herbs and spices, which I put together to achieve a magical Mexican flavour. This dish takes no time to prep, and it cooks slowly in the oven — warming up the kitchen and making it smell incredible. This will feed plenty of people, and the leftovers taste even better the next day. I usually serve this with tortillas or big baked potatoes, deconstructed guacamole, shredded iceberg lettuce and sour cream. The best thing about this dish is that everyone helps themselves.
Recipe and image from Eat In by Anna Gare, published by Murdoch Books $39.99. Photographer Ian Wallace.
- 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) olive oil
- 3 brown onions, diced
- 10 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 green chillies, finely chopped
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped
- 3 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon white peppercorns
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 whole star anise
- 10 whole cloves
- 2.5–3 kg (5 lb 8 oz–6 lb 12 oz) piece of pork shoulder, bone in and skin removed
- 2 heaped teaspoons smoked hot or sweet paprika
- 400 ml (14 fl oz) dry white wine
- 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) good-quality chicken stock
- 10 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- a few thyme sprigs
- 4 x 400 g (14 oz) tins of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 x 400 g (14 oz) tin of kidney beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
- 2 cups coriander (cilantro) leaves and stems, chopped
- 1 cup flat-leaf (Italian) parsley leaves, chopped
Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F/Gas 3) and arrange an oven rack on the middle shelf.
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based flameproof casserole dish over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5–6 minutes, or until softened.
Add all the chillies, the dried oregano and spices (except the paprika) and cook, stirring, for 1–2 minutes to release the flavours.
Add the pork and paprika, turn to coat in the flavours, and cook for a few minutes on each side. Pour in the wine and chicken stock, then add the tomato, salt and thyme, and cover with a tight-fitting lid.
Roast in the oven for 3½ hours, or until the pork pulls off the bone easily.
Remove the pork from the dish and pull the meat off the bone using two forks (discard the bone). Return the pulled pork to the sauce and add all of the beans.
Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes to heat the beans through and allow the flavours to mingle.
Stir through the coriander and parsley at the end and taste for seasoning before serving (this is beautiful with a dollop of sour cream and some diced avocado on top).
Note: If you have any leftover pork and bean mix, make sure you save it for a hearty huevos rancheros the next morning.