And now for something off the beaten path: a recipe I’ve been asked to share a number of times.

I got interested in learning the technique for this dish after finding myself ordering it time and again at my favorite Mexican restaurant. My version varies somewhat from a “traditional” preparation in that it’s slow cooked in foil, rather than in a Dutch oven, and in the seasonings that I use (and don’t use). I encourage you to play around with spices, to your taste.

The recipe uses pork shoulder, also known as pork butt or Boston butt.  My local Costco carves it into what it optimistically dubs “country style boneless ribs,” but that’s no matter – the shape is very convenient, and saves me the trouble of butchering.  As you see, the package is about 7 lbs of pork, but the quantity is up to you.  If you can’t find the equivalent, you can simply cut up a pork butt into strips or chunks approximately 2″ thick.

Trim off any obvious excess fat, but don’t get too carried away – the fat will all render off during the cooking.  Arrange the meat on a long sheet (long enough to fold over on itself) of aluminum foil.

Next, season the meat liberally, starting with kosher salt (don’t be stingy).  I like black pepper, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, smoked Spanish paprika, and chipotle chili powder.  Again, don’t be stingy, there’s a lot of meat to season.  If any of these fill you with dread, or if you have something else in mind (I’ve also used rib rub blends), do as you wish.  There are no food thugs around to tell you you’re doing anything wrong.  Other than salt – it will taste like nothing unless you salt it.

Next, fold up the top and bottom, then fold the ends up.  A lot of liquid will be released, so try to turn the foil into a “boat.

After crimping the foil over the top, go ahead and wrap it in a second layer of foil, and make a nice little package.  At this point, it would be beneficial to put it in the refrigerator overnight, but if you haven’t the time, you can go ahead and cook it.

Onto a rimmed sheet and into the oven at 225 °F for 5 hours it goes.  You don’t need to pay any attention to it, but if it makes you happy, rotate it every hour or two.

Remove it from the oven and carefully open the foil up (lots of liquid – so take care not to tear or spill).  Turn the oven up to 400 °F.

Now the fun part.  Using tongs and a fork, remove and shred the pork.  It should fall apart as you try to lift it, and shred easily.  Remove and discard any bits of fat that remain intact.  Give it a taste for salt and seasoning.  Pretty good, eh? If you feel it needs something more, add it at this time and give it a toss before the next step.

Once you’ve shredded and picked through the pork, spray the baking sheet with some cooking spray (or spoon on a couple tablespoons of the rendered fat and spread it around), then arrange the shredded pork on the sheet.  Now, squeeze a few tablespoons of lime juice over the pork (or, use a 100% juice bottled variety like RealLime).

Into the oven it goes again.  Once you see the top of the pork crisping (5-10 minutes), remove it, toss it around a bit to expose uncrisped meat, and put it back in the oven for another 5 minutes or until it has crisped enough to make you happy.

 


Done!  Ready to serve or refrigerate for future use.  It’s great for tacos, tostadas, over shredded lettuce, or any way you want.  Add some avocado and another squeeze of lime juice and you’ve got a killer dish.

My best guess (and it’s that:  an educated guess, not an analysis) on macros:  a 4 oz serving runs about 175 calories, 26 grams protein, zero carbs, and 8 grams fat.  Good stuff for weight lifters, keto diets, and everyone else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.

0

Like this post?