Monday, February 23, 2009

Pigging Out

Have you ever come across something that was so simple, or inexpensive, and yet invisible? Something that you thought was a remarkable value, but no one else recognized it?
When I come across an adorable item on ebay that I think is terrific, but no one else has bid I worry that the rest of the world knows something that I don't. When it comes to pork roast, however, I know that the rest of the world is missing out.
It's a simple recipe, for which you can use an inexpensive cut of pork butt, or shoulder. It's something I grew up on, and never get tired of. For some reason, all recipes I come across insist upon roasting pork in the oven until it's baked tough and dry. This stove top, steamed recipe will give you a succulent, juicy and memorable roast. Be sure to have some sort of braising pot with a tight fitting lid.

Braise a 2-5lb pork roast (shoulder or butt) on high until it is evenly browned. Reduce the heat to as low as possible. Place the cut of meat fattiest side down--add half a cup of water (and more, as it cooks, if necessary) and cover. Check every thirty minutes or so, turning the piece of meat so it cooks evenly. After an hour or more for larger cuts of meat add a couple of sliced onions and a few garlic cloves. Cook until falling off the fork tender, 2-4 hours depending on the size of the roast and your cooking equipment. Add salt to taste. Serve with pico de gallo, a pot of beans, rice, and corn or flour tortillas. Or, hey, enfrijoladas!

Try one of the following variations:

a) as the roast becomes tender add peeled carrots and potatoes to steam alongside.

b) once the roast is tender add a combination of Las Palmas green enchilada sauce and Herdez tomatillo sauce.

c) blend a few tomatoes and a couple of chipotle chiles; add to the simmering meat.

d) roast pasilla chiles over flames, turning with tongs until evenly charred. Remove from flames and steam in plastic bags. When cool remove the charred skin, stems, and seeds. Slice or cut into squares, add to meat. Heaven.

What delicious foods do you love, and consider underrated?


  1. Looks like it's the year of The Pig for my loco bloggers.

  2. Yep. Notice, I avoided bacon. Oh well. Next time, bacon!

  3. I love pork, but, can you believe, I've never cooked a pork roast. This really sounds easy and delicious and economical.

  4. I don't belong here. I don't know what "braise" means.