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Mexican Style Pork Shoulder

By Chef John Ash

Slow, long cooking is the key to making this dish meltingly tender. To make it even more Mexican, shred the meat with its juices and then roll up in warm tortillas along with shredded cabbage, chopped avocados, tomatoes, sweet white onion, some cilantro leaves and lime wedges to squeeze juice over. Another option is to shred or “pull” the meat, with its juices and serve on small hamburger buns this is one of the best “sliders” you’ll ever have! Like all great braises and stews, this gets better when reheated. Also by making ahead and refrigerating you can more easily remove and discard fat that will rise to the surface. If you own a crock pot this is a great recipe for this useful appliance. All in all a great recipe to share for game day!

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    Serves 8

    Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes

    Prep Time 20 minutes

    Difficulty Level Easy


    3 tbsp olive oil

    5 lb bone in pork shoulder

    Salt and freshly ground pepper

    2 large onions, chopped (about 3 c)

    8 large cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

    2 tbsp chopped chipotle chile in adobo

    2 c diced canned or fresh tomatoes

    1 tbsp crushed cumin seeds

    2 tsp whole fennel seed

    1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

    1 tsp dried oregano, preferably Mexican

    3 c red wine

    1-1/2 c orange juice

    2 tbsp brown sugar


    1. n a deep pot or Dutch oven with a cover, add the olive oil and heat over moderately high heat. Season the pork liberally with salt and freshly ground pepper and sear on all sides until nicely browned, about 10 minutes. Remove pork and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat.

    2. Add the onions and garlic to pot and sauté over moderate heat until lightly browned. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer, stirring to combine. Add pork back to pot, cover a place in a preheated 325 degree oven for 3 hours or until meat is very tender and falls easily off the bone.

    3. Remove meat, discarding bone, to a serving bowl and cover with foil to keep warm. Allow braising liquid to sit at room temperature to facilitate removal of fat and remove and discard as much as you can from the surface.

    4. Strain defatted juices if desired, pushing down on solids and discarding them. You can also skip this step if you like yours a little more “rustic”. Return juices to pan and bring to a simmer and then pour over meat. Serve immediately.

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