Friday, February 24, 2012

Shredded Pork Heaven

Happy Friday Everyone!

On Wednesday, I promised you a great recipe would be coming. And I intended to post that recipe yesterday. After being sick though, I was inundated with things to catch up on at work and so, like a total slacker, I didn't.

But never fear. I am posting it today. The absolute best shredded pork you will ever eat (imho). It is Anthony's specialty, and when he goes all out and make his tostones too... mmm...mmm. Heaven

Small Disclaimer: The amounts of garlic you see listed below are accurate. I know you will look at them and think that I am playing a practical joke on you. You will giggle to yourself and think that there is absolutely no way that much garlic should be consumed in one meal. But no, that really is how much garlic you will need, and let me tell you it will be delicious.

Also, you will be making the pork in a pressure cooker. If you don't have a pressure cooker, a slow cooker or crockpot will work just was well, but will take much longer so plan ahead for that.
Shredded Pork with Rice and Beans and Tostones with Garlic Dipping Sauce

What you will need for the Pork:

 1 lb of country style boneless pork ribs

A whole head of garlic PRESSED OR MASHED

2 Tablespoons salt

2 Tablespoons pepper

A pinch of oregano

1/3 cup vinegar

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup of water

Adobo Seasoning to taste

1) Dust pork with adobo seasoning

2) In a separate bowl, mix your remaining ingredients

3) Add pork to your wet mixture

4) Let rest for 30 mins

5) Heat pressure cooker  to medium high

6) Add pork with marinade and 1/3 cup of water to pressure cooker

7) Cook for one hour

8) After cooking, remove pork to a separate bowl/plate, and shred with a fork

Note: The pressure cooker does a really good job of infusing the marinade into the meat as it cooks due to the high pressure. If you are using a slow cooker, I would recommend marinading the pork for several hours prior to cooking.

What you will need for the Rice and Beans

2 Cups of Rice

4 Cups of Water

One can Pink Beans

One Tablespoon Minced Garlic

A Cap-ful of EVOO

A Heaping Tablespoon of Sofrito (found in the "ethnic foods" section of your frozen foods aisle)

1 Packet of Sazon Seasoning

1 Packet Goya Jamon Seasoning or 4 oz. cured pork

8 oz. Can Tomato Sauce

1 Potato, Diced into Bite Sized Cubes

Salt to taste

 1) Heat oil

2) Add Sofrito, Garlic and cured pork (if you are using the Jamon seasoning, you will add it in step four). Cook on medium high for 3-5 mins.

3) Add undrained beans and bring to a boil

4) Add tomato sauce and sazon ( if using the Jamon, add here too.)

5) Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer

6) Simmer for 20-30 minutes (the actual cooking is done in the first ten minutes, but the longer you cook the beans, the more pronounced flavor you will get and the more the flavors will meld together.

What You Will Need for the Tostones and Sauce

Four Green Plantains

Cooking Oil

A half of a head of garlic PRESSED OR MASHED

1/3 cup vinegar

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and Pepper to Taste

For the Tostones:

1) Peel your plantains (To do this, you will want to cut off each end of the plantain, make a defined slit down one side and begin to pull the outer green layer off like a banana)

2) Slice your plantains into slices between 1/2 inch and an inch. (You want them to be thick enough to mash after you fry them to first time)

3) Heat a frying pan filled with cooking oil and add your plantains one by one

4) Fry each side for about one to two minutes or just until they start to turn color

5) Remove plantains to a paper towel

6) Smash each plantain to flatten. (We use the back of a plate for this, you can use anything with a large flat surface really)

7) Drop your smashed plantains back into the frying oil and fry until they are golden brown.

8) Remove to a paper towel lined plate or cooling rack

For the Sauce:

1) Add your garlic, vinegar and olive oil to a bowl, stir well

2) Salt and Pepper to taste

3) Either drizzle over your tostones, or spoon onto each one individually before eating

(I've seen a lot of variations of this sauce, a lot without vinegar, with more or less garlic, etc. Go by your taste. When Anthony makes this, and when his Mom makes this, they both use vinegar and a good amount of garlic, and it is absolutely my favorite version. It has a tangy bite and can also be drizzled over the rice and beans in the end for added pop. Use this more as a guideline, and create something you love)

The end product of all of your efforts:

I know this is a long recipe and seems like a long process, but in all, it takes about an hour and half to create, and is so worth the time and energy. One of my favorite meals!