Saturday

Slow-Braised Spiced Shredded Pork & Chimichangas



The recipe for Spicy Shredded Pork comes directly from Ree in her delightfully entertaining blog, "The Pioneer Woman". The exact recipe, including proportions of the seasonings can be found here:

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2008/08/spicy-shredded-pork/

Instead of a large 7+ pound pork should roast as Ree did. I used about 2 1/2 pounds of boneless country-style pork ribs, which enabled the braising time to be reduced substantially. However followed Ree's directions for the spicy rub exactly.

An onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, chili powder, salt, pepper, white wine vinegar (I believe apple cider or plain white vinegar would work as well), a splash of olive oil and a bit of water, all whirred up in the food processor completes the rub.

Rinse the meat and blot with paper towels, then massage the rub, on all sides of the meat.

It certainly doesn't look very appetizing at this point:



Cover the pot and put it in a 300 degree (F) oven to allow the slow heat and the rub do their magic.



In about a half hour the aroma will begin to fill the room, you'll be imagining the good meals to come.


After a few hours (this was at about 4 hours for the amount & cut of pork I used), it will look like this. But it's not quite finished yet~


Now raise the temperature to about 425 degrees (F), and leave the lid off of the pot while the meat continues to bake, this step allows the juices to reduce and concentrate, becoming all the more flavorful.


When the liquid is reduced to your liking, remove the pot from the oven and allow to cool for about 15 minutes, then shred the meat, using two forks. Toss the shredded meat with the accumulated juices, then serve up however you like. Ree recommends serving flour tortillas, salsa fresca, and limes with the shredded pork.


The first night I simply steamed some basmati rice, and put together a black-bean corn relish, with vinagrette. The meat also makes a perfect filling for tacos, burritos, or in BBQ sauced sandwiches.



The follow night the meat was used as a filling for Oven Baked Chimichangas/Chivichangas, which a good, long-time internet friend shared.

To the meat filling I added lightly sauteed yellow onions along with red & yellow bell pepper strips. The Chimis puffed nicely while baking in the oven. I simply added a simple garnish of some (jarred) salsa, sour cream, shredded cheese and green onion. Fresh cliantro would be wonderful, too.

Yum~ Thanks to Ree and her friend for sharing this recipe, it's very good ~ I'll definitely make this one again!

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