The second day of Spring showed up yesterday. We had the first one about five weeks ago. Then we reverted to Winter. Today is the 3rd day of Spring, apparently, since it is filled with sunshine and bright blue skies. Flowers are blooming everywhere and the neighbors are coming out again. When it's cold, rainy, and gray, we hibernate, but when the mountains are 'out' (this is the phenomena that happens when the clouds lift!), our cul-de-sac is filled with little boys playing ball, riding bikes and scooters, and wielding light sabers! We have no little girls here—we have to borrow them from other cul-de-sacs! Our garage doors are up, we're washing cars, pulling weeds, and hanging shelves. Yes, that's what I was doing yesterday when my neighbor Lori was walking her baby around in the stroller while her light-saber-wielding older one fought aliens. I had my front door open and was hanging a shelf under a mirror in my entry way. She stopped to chat and as happens a lot, our conversation turned to food and what I was making for dinner. I told her and as she came in the door to see my shelf, she started salivating. (Not really, I'm making that up!) Light-Saber Guy walked in sniffing, too. Before I knew it, he was back with the OTHER neighbor boy (Mr. No-Shirt) telling him to smell "Tammy's Dinner"! I was laughing so hard!! Lori is an amazing cook and she looked me, a little offended, I must say, and said, "You'd think I never cook!"
Lori made the not-so-subtle hint that she thought this recipe should show up somewhere on a blog real fast! So, here's to you, Lori! And Light-Saber Guy!
Salsa Verde Braised Pork
I found this recipe in the February 08 Sunset Magazine. They featured a section with four slow-cooked meats. This one, a smoky beef stew (which made the Basket!), lamb shanks (I've never cooked lamb so I'm not sure about this one), and one for duck legs (never cooked—or eaten—duck). BUT if those recipes are anything like this one or the beef stew, I would probably eat them!! Believe it or not, I didn't get a picture last night! I ate quickly in between piano students so that I could rush out to a meeting a school just after my last one. However, there's a picture at sunset.com. I was going to copy it in here, but I thought those professional photographers might not like that. . . I tried to hyperlink, but it hyperlinked the whole rest of my post! Why does that happen?! Anyway, just click on "Food", then type in the name of the recipe in the search box. You can also print the recipe without all my comments added in! J
- 3 ½ lbs. bone-in pork shoulder (aka port butt) How can the pork SHOULDER also be known as pork BUTT?! Seems a little far removed to me. . . (I used Pork Tenderloin yesterday and it came out just fine. And I think the tenderloin is a little closer to the butt. . . )
- 1 bottle (15 oz.) salsa verde (Any brand will do, but I like Mrs. Renfro's. Check the spiciness when you buy it. The one I used was too spicy for little taste buds!
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 c. reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 2 t. each cumin seeds and coriander seeds (I didn't have cumin seeds so I used ground cumin.)
- 1 t. dried oregano
- ½ c. chopped fresh cilantro, plus some leaves
Trim excess pork fat. Put meat in a large casserole or Dutch oven with salsa, onion, broth, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and oregano. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat, cover, and simmer until meat is very tender when pierced, about 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 375˚. With 2 wide spatulas, transfer meat to a rimmed baking pan. Bake until richly browned, 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, skim and discard fat from pan juices. Boil juices, stirring, until reduced to 2 ¾ c., 8-10 minutes.
With two forks, tear meat into large shreds. Add to pan with juices and stir in chopped cilantro. Season with salt. Spoon into a serving bowl and sprinkle with cilantro leaves. Serve with flour tortillas.
You can also prepare this in a slow-cooker. Put trimmed pork in a slow cooker (5-6 quart) and turn heat to high. In a pan, bring salsa, onion, broth, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and oregano to a boil. Pour over pork, cover, and cook until meat is very tender when pierced and registers at least 165˚ on an instant-read thermometer, at least 7 or up to 9 hours. Continue recipe with the 'oven' step, using a large pot for boiling down the juices.
I serve it with sour cream, too. That's some good grub! I think maybe we should add this to the Cinco de Mayo party menu next year, huh Neighbors?