I love slow cuts of pork: belly, shoulder and especially butt. But I have been working crazy hours over January and into February spending week on, week off between reprising my old role at Terroir @ Craggy Range in the weekends and selling wine and glassware in my current sales role during the week. Understandably I barely have time to think (although nachos, a pint and the weekend papers at the Rose and Shamrock in Havelock North gave me some welcome respite this afternoon) let alone time to braise huge chunks of pig. Enter pressure cooker, a piece of kit that I am growing to love, which is also proving to be extremely versatile and can cut the cook-time of a tough but flavourful cut of meat.
On Thursday, before heading back to the bay, I had a hankering for spice and the richness of pork cut against by zesty lime, the freshness of coriander and a hit of chilli. I decided to go the Mexican route rather than the East-Asian so we decided on Enchiladas.
Start by cutting 800g of pork butt into 1cm cubes and brown them in batches in a medium hot pan with a splash of oil. While this is happening toast the following spices: 2 teaspoons cumin and 1 teaspoon each coriander seed and fennel seed, once deep brown (not burnt) crush in a mortar and pestle, add these to a pressure cooker. Add pork to pressure cooker.
Finely slice two large onions, chop five garlic cloves and slice two red peppers; soften these in a little oil in the same pan you used to brown the pork (they will mop up all the delicious porky flavours) then also add these to the pressure cooker. Add 100ml water, 100ml tomato pulp and 1 tablespoon of chopped chipotle chillies in adobe sauce (I use La Morena)* and seal. Bring to full pressure and cook for 30 minutes.
Once cooked (the meat should pull apart with a fork) separate the liquid and reduce to ¼ of original volume and combine back into mix. Add a cup of sweetcorn cut fresh from the cob and one can of drained, rinsed red kidney beans. Then add fresh coriander, lime zest and Mexican Oregano. Allow to cool enough to handle.
Fill eight soft corn tortillas with the meat mix and lay them length-wise in an oven proof dish. Make an enchilada sauce by combining the following in a blender: 300ml tomato pulp, a small bunch of coriander, two chipotle chillies, one fresh chilli, one small red onion, two garlic cloves. Cover filled tortillas with sauce and top with a mild, melting cheese. Bake for 30 minutes and then grill for a few more, until golden brown.
Serve with a salad, sour cream and / or guacamole! Drink some kick-arse dry Riesling! We had the truly awesome 2012 Valli ‘Old Vine’ from Alexandra in Central Otago. Long, pure acidity, intense lime and focused minerality. As good as it gets.
*For a dish with more kick I often add fresh, chipotle and dried chillies.