Mexican Pulled Pork Sammie
Slowly braised pork in a citrus beer and chicken broth is just the beginning of a sensational sammie with cheese, pickled pepers and onion toppings.
- 1 boneless pork shoulder (3-4 pounds)
- Salt and black pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, rough chopped
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin (2 palmfuls)
- 1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano (a palmful)
- 1 bottle Mexican beer, such as Dos Equis (12 ounces)
- 2 cups chicken stock
- Juice of 4 oranges (about 2 cups)
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1 cup white wine or white balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 red hot chili pepper or jalapeño, thinly sliced
- 2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
- 2 small red onions, thinly sliced
- 1 cup store-bought pickled jalapeños or banana pepper rings, drained
- 1 cup queso fresco or 2 cups of shredded Monterey Jack cheese, crumbled
- About 24 small rolls, such as dinner-size brioche or slider rolls, split
Pre-heat the oven to 325°F.
Season the pork generously with salt and pepper and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Pat the pork dry with a paper towel. Place a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat; add EVOO, three turns of the pan. Place the pork in the pot and sear on each side, about 4-5 minutes per side, until golden brown. Remove the pork from the pot, set on a plate and reserve.
Turn the heat down to medium and add the onion and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, then season with cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Deglaze the pot with the beer, scraping up the bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add the chicken stock and orange juice and stir. Add the pork back to the pot – the liquid should come two-thirds the way up the meat. Bring to a simmer, then cover and place in the oven for 2 1/2-3 hours, until the meat is tender and falls apart when you touch it, turning the meat halfway through the cooking time.
Remove the pork from the pot, place on a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. When it is cool enough to handle, pull the meat apart with two forks.
Simmer the braising liquid over medium heat until reduced by half. Add the lime juice. Set the shredded pork into the liquid.
While the pork is cooking, prepare the pickled red onions: In a small saucepot, bring the vinegar, sugar, a teaspoon of salt, chili or jalapeño pepper and bay leaves to a simmer. Place the sliced red onions in a small sealable container. Carefully pour the hot liquid over the onions, cover and give it a shake. You may need to lift the lid to release some of the pressure. Every now and then, give it a good shake. Place in fridge to cool.
To assemble the sammies, remove the pork with tongs from the liquid and place on the bun bottoms. Top with a few pickled jalapeños, some pickled red onions, some crumbles of queso fresco and the bun tops.