The recipe is based on my friend Greg's "Hot Meat" dish which he made for me when we were in college. His version was a bit simpler but no less delicious--take a jar of prepared salsa and stew the meat in it. You will notice that in my recipe, the "sauce" is essentially a salsa!
This dish would also be lovely made with chicken instead of pork. Use a combination of chicken thighs and breasts for the best flavor and follow the same procedure as the pork.
Serves 4 to 6 as a stew on rice, and 6 to 8 as tacos.
1.5 kilos pork shoulder (or chicken)
6 to 8 cloves garlic (about half a head)
1 can crushed tomatoes (500 grams)
2 bunches cilantro
1 tsp cumin
zest and juice of one lime
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil for frying
2 to 4 small flour or corn tortillas per person
lime wedges, sour cream, and cheese to garnish
Cut the pork shoulder into chunks. The smaller pieces you cut, the shorter the cooking time. I usually do it in walnut sized pieces. Heat a large cooking pot on high heat. Add a bit of olive oil and put a single layer of pork pieces in the pot. Brown on one side and turn over and brown on the other side. Remove the pieces into a large bowl and put another layer of pork in the pot. It will take 3 to 4 batches to get all your pieces browned. Do not be tempted to try to hurry this process and put more pork in at a time. You will just end up with a watery mess because the heat will not be enough to brown the pieces. If the brown bits at the bottom of the pan threaten to burn, in between batches, you can rinse it with a tablespoon of water and add these juices to the bowl.
|The stew after all ingredients have been added.|
|The meat is tender but the sauce needs to be reduced.|
After an hour, check the stew for seasoning. As you stir it, the pork should be very tender and start to break up. If the pork needs a bit more cooking, put the lid back on and cook for a further half hour. Once the pork is sufficiently tender, take the lid off and cook for an additional half an hour or so to reduce the sauce (You can make the reduction go more quickly by increasing the heat but then you have to watch it and stir more carefully to make sure it does not burn). Right before serving, stir in the remaining chopped cilantro.
Wrap the tortillas in tinfoil and warm in the oven at 350F (180C) for 10 to 15 minutes. Put the pork in a large bowl on the table. Lay the garnishes out in bowls on the table and let everyone help themselves to make their own tacos. Eat immediately with plenty of napkins.