I don’t want to tempt fate here, but for the life of me I can’t understand how pork shoulder isn’t more expensive.
On impulse I bought four pork shoulder steaks last week before really knowing what I wanted to do with them. This is often the case in my world… like the time we decided to have weans without knowing what we’d do when they arrived. I’m still trying to work that one out.
Obviously, I was going to eat the steaks (though not all four of them, I’m not a complete gulpin) but I didn’t know if I’d braise them with apples and cider, stick them in the slow cookers or even bung a load of spices at them and make a Mexican feast.
In the end, and as much a nod to my sandwich fest from a few weeks ago, I decided to make that most moreish of sarnie staples, pulled pork – Tex-mex style.
Admittedly, pulled pork is probably better made from a whole pork shoulder but if you only have a couple of people eating the eventual meat, a couple of steaks will go a long way.
This recipe looks like a real mission but actually isn’t; you just have to be a little more organised.
For max effect for example, an overnight soak in the marinade is the best plan and the resulting meat shovelled into soft or hard tacos or baps with pickled red onions and extra barbecue sauce… is astoundingly good.
Credit where credit is due, this dish is inspired by one of Tom Kerridge’s. Thanks Tom.
• 2 oranges, juiced
• 2 cloves of garlic
• 2 tbsps of Cholula Chipotle
• 2 tbsp of cider vinegar
• 1 tsp of dried oregano
• 1 tsp of ground cumin
• 1 tsp of smoked paprika
• half a tsp of cayenne
• 1 tsp of salt
• 1 tbsp of sun-dried tomato puree
• 1 tsp of honey (or sugar)
• 4 shoulder steaks
• PICKLED ONIONS
• 2 red onions, finely sliced
• half tsp of sea salt
• 2 tbsp of cider vinegar
• 1 lime, juiced
• half tsp of black peppercorns, lightly bashed
• 350ml of boiling water
Tip all the marinade ingredients into a casserole dish and mix well.
Add the pork shoulder steaks and again mix and coat in the potent juices.
Cover and leave to marinade for at least two hours but ideally overnight for max effect.
The next day, pre-heat the oven to 140˚C and then relocate the casserole dish (covered well in tin-foil) to the oven.
This will be happy as Larry (if he were a pig) for at least two hours. After that time, check the steaks and if they’re meltingly tender, they’re done. If not, give them another half hour and try again (and so on and so forth).
However, as the meat is braising, make the pickled onions.
Put these in a non-metallic bowl and then pour over the water. Let the onions be for 15 minutes and then drain.
Retaining the onions in the bowl, add the salt, vinegar, lime juice, bay leaf and peppercorns. Cover with cling-y and retire to the fridge for a couple of hours.
When the pork is done, all you have to do is remove from the dish and shred with two forks. As you’re doing that, add the marinade to a saucepan and reduce by half or until the sauce is thickened. Then return the shredded meat to the marinade and mix through. Taste and adjust the seasoning and it’s done.
All you have to do then is serve up in warm corn tacos or baps with some pico de gallo (chopped tomatoes, onions and coriander), some of those neon pickled onions from the fridge and maybe even another splash of barbecue sauce.
Whether or not you add extra grated cheddar is up to you.
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