Pork Shoulder With Chile And Onions, garnished with Mango Avocado Salsa

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Pork Shoulder With Chile And Onions with Green Chile Cabbage Salad, garnished with Mango Avocado Salsa topped off with Mahi Mahi Rub and wrapped in delicious naan

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Contributed by sinker, Ross Donaldson
### Pork Shoulder with Chile and Onions This is my attempt to re-create my most favorite _al pastor_ in Oakland — the stuff they make at Tacos Sinaloa in Fruitvale. Saucy, packed with sauteed onions — it’s amazing stuff. This isn’t a match, but it’s damn fine, and close. I like it with roasted tomatillo salsa and crema and a _Dos Equis_ amber. ##### Ingredients * Some number of pounds of pork shoulder. Get the good stuff; the pork will taste of its fat, and cheap pork fat tastes gross. A pound of pork shoulder makes dinner for 3-4 people, depending on just how many tacos each of you can put down. Per pound of pork: * 1 medium onions (can do two large onions per three pounds pork). I like yellows, but I’ve done sweet onions and it’s rad. * A pile of chiles. * Salt Let’s pause here for a second, ’cause there are a _lot_ of great chiles you could use. I think this is best with dried red chiles, and ambrosial if those chiles were smoked. That means chipotles, anchos, or Oaxacenos. It’s difficult to give quantities on these things. It comes down to taste, hey? If you don’t cook with these things often, or don’t like spicy foods, use Oaxacenos — one or even a half of one per pound. If you like it hot, keep adding chipotles until your head explodes. I like spicy pork; I typically use two chiplotles per pound, depending on chili size. If you aren’t big on smoked chiles, look at a dried New Mexico red, or use fresh-ground _chiles pequenos_. * 1 cloves garlic, peeled * Salt ##### Directions 1. Set the oven to 350 degrees. Put a Dutch Oven on the range and apply medium heat. 2. Chop up your pile of onions. Mince up the garlic. Heck — get a beer. This is good beer-drinking-cooking. And the chiles! Chop them up too. That’ll get you going.* 3. Oh yeah — cut your pork shoulder into hunks of roughly equal size. I try to keep the hunks as big as possible. Coat it all over with salt. So. Here’s the basic idea: we’re going to roast a pork shoulder. We don’t want it to get dried out; we also don’t want to add liquid to it. The moisture will come from the onions, which we also want to caramelize. What we’re going to do is this: start with a base of cooked onions; start roasting the pork shoulder; add onions to keep it moist, but not too many or too fast so that they can get dry enough to caramelize. You can work the lid, here — add it if things are drying out too quickly, remove if things are staying too wet. 4. Add a tablespoon or so of the oil of your choice to the Dutch Oven (I use bacon fat). Once it’s hot, toss in 1/2-1/3 of your chopped onion. Cook the onion until it turns translucent; add about half the chopped chiles and garlic, stir well, then add the pork shoulder. Start them fat-side down, and try to get the fat in contact with the dutch oven. 5. Pop the whole works in the oven, uncovered (to start). Grab your beer, and maybe a book. Time to do some structured waiting. 6. Every thirty minutes or so, check the pork shoulder. Check the stuff in the bottom of the pan; as it starts to dry out, throw in more onions and stir it all around. You can flip the hunks over after a while — use tongs. 7. The pork shoulder is done when it is tender but not soft. You should be able to separate the hunks with a pair of forks, but you should not be able to cut it with a fork. Honestly, I like mine a touch on the chewy side — well roasted and cooked through but not actually falling apart. (Try this: slice off a little hunk of pork. Is it delicious? Just a little chew? It’s done! If it’s tough, keep going.) For a three pound pork shoulder in my oven, this takes about two hours. 8. When the pork shoulder is done, pull the hunks out of the pot with tongs, transferring them to a cutting board. Transfer the Dutch Oven back to the range and set medium heat. 9. Chop the pork hunks into bits. 10. Toss whatever onion and chile and garlic you have left into the Dutch Oven to cook in the rendered fat and onion goop. If things are stuck or cooked to the pan, pour in a bit of your beer to loosen it. Do you like flavors other than what’s already there? Oregano or cumin? This is where I’d add those, m’self, but I don’t usually want ’em. 11. Once the onion in the pot is tender, toss the pork back in and stir liberally. Hey, you’re done! It’s ready to go in tacos! I love this as a simple taco: hot corn tortillas, this stuff, roasted tomatillo salsa, a little crema, but it would win your heart with seared corn and epazote and maybe some cotija. You should eat as you like! * Have you handled very hot peppers before? No? Okay, listen, this is really important: hot chiles will get oil on your fingers, and it will burn any sensitive body parts you touch. That oil is very difficult to scrub off, so just washing your hands isn’t enough. Dried chiles are much safer to work than fresh or freshly roasted chiles, but you can still have an awfully rough evening of pouring salene solution in your eyes if you aren’t careful. When in doubt: nitrile gloves.
Contributed by sinker, Ross Donaldson
### Green Chile Cabbage Salad with Seared Corn This isn’t a tradition, or even particularly traditional — except in my apartment in Oakland, where I make this for myself ever time I make pork tacos. #### Ingredients * 1 green cabbage * 4 limes * 2 ears corn, or roughly two cups of corn kernels (adjust to desired corn-y-ness) * Dried, Powdered New Mexico Green Chile, to taste * Salt, to taste * Olive oil * Optional: some crumbled cotija or queso Oaxaqueno #### Directions 1. If using ears of corn, strip the kernels from them with a sharp knife. 2. Heat a few tablespoons of oil over high heat. I like to use a Dutch Oven for this, but the main cookware properties you want are heavy-bottomed and wide. 3. Toss the corn kernels in to the oil, spread them evenly, salt very lightly and let them ride. I _highly_ recommend a splatter guard for this step, but **not** a lid. You want the corn to dry out just a little and get a good sear. It’s done when it’s starting to get dark, a little chewy, and probably is sticking to the pan. 4. While the corn is going, core and chop the cabbage in to wide strips. 5. How’s the corn doing? 6. Juice the limes. 7. How’s the corn doing? If it’s not done yet, grab a beer and hang out ’til it is. 8. The corn is done? Great. Toss it on top of the cabbage. Add a little salt, then a good hit of olive oil, then half-or-so of the lime juice. Toss in a good tablespoon or two of the green chile powder. Start stirring. 9. You want everything coated nicely, but I don’t like the salad too oily, so go easy on that. I add lime until the sour balances the sweet of the corn. I add green chile slowly — it takes a second to rehydrate and get hot. I might add as much as a half cup of the stuff to a salad for myself or spicy food fans like me; I go easier on the spice-unenthused. 10. Serve it! If you’re in to tossing a little cheese on there, do it — but I usually just eat it straight. Sometimes this goes on fish or chicken tacos; sometimes it’s a side to richer pork tacos. It’s always awesome. **Note on ingredients**: green chile is the gastronomical life blood of New Mexican cuisine, but it’s little known in the other 49 states. I like a brand called [_Los Chileros de Nuevo Mexico_](http://www.loschileros.com/), which I can find sometimes in tiendas and other times at Whole Foods (go figure). The trick here is this: just don’t accept substitutes. It’s not the same. I’ve also had to accept that fresh chile is just not what this salad needs, so don’t do that either (it doesn’t distribute well enough across the cabbage). Do have this with cold, crisp beer. tags: vegetarian, vegan
Contributed by Brian Mount, sinker, Jake Spurlock, Shane Shifflett
Mango Avocado Salsa =================== Goes great on soft shell chicken tacos with cheese (or deep-friend wantons with scallops)! __Ingredients__ * 2 Avocados * 2 Mangos * 1 Orange * 1 Tablespoon Honey * Garlic cloves (leave it up to your buds) * Pepper * 1 Lime __Directions__ 1. Chop avocado and mango into bowl. 2. Squeeze the lime and half the orange in, add honey. 3. Add garlic (chopped or pressed) and pepper to taste. 4. Stir and enjoy! tags: vegetarian, vegan
Contributed by Brian Mount, sinker, Jake Spurlock, Mat Marquis
Mahi Mahi Rub ============== A rub for Mahi Mahi, if fish tacos be what you’re fancying: * 1 Part spicy chili powder * 1 Part salt * 1 Part ground cumin * 1/2 Part chopped cilantro * 1/2 Part cayenne * 1/2 Part pepper * 1/2 Part oregano * 1/2 Part onion powder * 1/2 Part garlic powder You choose your measurements and enjoy! tags: vegetarian, vegan
Contributed by
naan ===================== Naan bread can be purchased or made. It is easier to buy it at a store. Naan bread is a flatbread that tends to be fluffy and easy to tear apart.

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