Tuesday, March 3, 2009

puerco pibil - a slow roasted pork

Can there really be a dish worth killing the chef over. Well, if you are like me - a fan of Johnny Depp that is - you may have watched Once Upon a Time in Mexico. In the movie, Johnny's character Agent Sands kills a cook for making a version of puerco "too good". Now if anything can entice me to try a new dish, not that Mexican food can't do that by itself, it's a man killing another to keep the balance of the world.

When a Mexican dish is bouncing around in my head, I would normally try and sort things out by heading straight to my collection of Rick Bayless and Diana Kennedy cookbooks. Not this time though. I figured since Roberto Rodriguiez (the man behind the movie) is a proud home cook I would look for the movie recipe. What I found was even better, because the DVD offers you, me and anyone else who wants to buy it; a private Roberto Rodriguez cooking lesson.

With everything in my pantry, but the pork butt and lemons, it was a quick stop at the store, a few weeks back, before I was ready to rock. The dish ended up being a great mix of succulent pork, ready to fall apart just looking at it and a habanero heat that builds with every bite. A perfect combination for my taste. Others who are less 'heat' savvy were put off by the burn and even mouthfuls of rice couldn't soothe. So know your limits, and those of your fellow diners when dishing this plate. Oh yeah, remember to keeping an eye looking back at all times. There is no telling who might be eating...

Puerco Pibil - Roberto Rodriguez edition

5 tbl whole annato seeds
2 tsp whole cumin seeds
1 tbl peppercorns
8 whole allspice seeds
1/2 tsp whole cloves
Put spices in a coffee grinder, not the one you would normally use, and grind to fine.

2 habanero chiles, stems and seeds removed, chopped
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup white vinegar
2 tbl salt
8 cloves garlic
5 Lemons - juiced
Splash of tequila
Put the above, and the spice mix, into a blender and puree.

Cut a 5 pound bone-in pork butt into 2-inch chunks.
Combine all ingredients in a zip-top bag and mix well.
Line a 9x13 pan with banana leaves (or foil) and add the pork mixture
Fold over the leaves to cover, then cover tightly with foil.
Bake 4 hours at 325 until fork tender.
Serve over rice to get full use of the sauce.

I've also shredded it over homemade tortillas, and even mixed some into salad.

Tequila by the way is the secret ingredient that takes this dish over the top, and the reason why Agent Sands did what he did. So while it is optional, throw in a glug of the good stuff. The picture doesn't do it justice, so if I haven't sold you...just do it!

1 comment:

Sarah said...

What time is dinner? Bet this one was equally as delicious as the first I sampled!

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