Slow-Cooked Mexican Pork
Serves: 6 to 8
The Yucatan dish called Cochinita Pibil uses bitter oranges and annatto paste to make a colorful, tangy dish. This classic inspired our version, which uses sour hibiscus flowers for color and flavor.
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves Add to list
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin Add to list
- 1 teaspoon smoked or Spanish paprika Add to list
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne Add to list
- 1/2 teaspoon salt Add to list
- 2 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder or picnic roast Add to list
- 1 tablespoon high-heat oil Add to list
- 1 cup diced onion Add to list
- 3 cloves garlic, minced Add to list
- 1/2 cup water Add to list
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar Add to list
- 1 orange, sliced (including peel) Add to list
- 1/3 cup hibiscus flowers Add to list
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano Add to list
- Beans, tortillas, hot sauce and queso fresco, for serving Add to list
Preheat oven to 300° F. Combine cloves, cumin, paprika, cayenne and salt in a small dish. Rub the mixture into the meat.
Warm the olive oil in a 5-quart casserole dish over medium heat. Once the pot and the oil are hot, brown the meat on all sides and remove to a cutting board.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, translucent and the edges are starting to brown, about 10 minutes. While the onions cook, cut the browned pork into 6 pieces of equal size.
Add the water to the pot and scrap the bottom, so any caramelized bits are cleaned off. [see note] Return the pork pieces to the pot, and then add the vinegar and orange slices. Sprinkle the hibiscus flowers and oregano over the top, and stir gently to distribute.
Cover the pot and cook in the oven until the meat is falling-apart tender, about 3 1/2 hours. Remove the orange rinds.
Serve pork with its sauce, along with beans, tortillas and queso fresco.
If you prefer, you can finish the dish in an electric slow cooker. Proceed as above up to the phrase "see note." At that stage, rather than assembling the caramelized onions, browned pork, vinegar, orange slices, and oregano in a casserole dish, put them all in your slow cooker. Cook until falling-apart tender at the temperature of your choice; time will vary depending on your slow cooker model and selected cooking temperature.
Each serving: 370 cal, 24g fat (8g sat), 120mg chol, 240mg sodium, 6g carb, 1g fiber, 3g sugars, 31g protein