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Mouth-watering Mexican pork

Perhaps it’s the fact that I’ve been to several festivals and outdoor parties this year, or maybe it’s that my boyfriend has suddenly gotten over his “I don’t like pork, it’s fatty and gristly” stage, but I’ve eaten more pork of the hog roast variety this summer than I think I have in my whole life!

Be it shredded in a soft, floury bap with mounds of stuffing and apple sauce a la Glastonbury, or succulent and sliced, with strips of crisp, crunchy crackling, there’s nothing I love more than a bit of pig right now!

Which is how I devised this recipe, one which I’m proud to say is completely of my own creation for once, and not borrowed and adapted from BBC Good Food or Nigella (my usual sources!). I’ve played around with the quantities of spice, the cooking method and the cooking times, and I think I’ve just about hit the nail on the head with this version. If you love standard Tex-Mex fare such as fajitas and enchiladas then I hope you’ll love this just as much-it takes a little time, but it’s minimal effort, and well worth the wait!

Prep Time: 10 mins      
Cook Time: 1 ½ hours          Serves: 4

Ingredients:

1 tbsp oil
1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic
1tsp dried chilli flakes
1 heaped tsp of Allspice
2 heaped tsps of Cumin
2 heaped tsps of Coriander
1 tbsp tomato puree
200g tinned tomatoes
100ml beef stock
About 1 tbsp of pickling juices from a jar of jalepeno peppers
Salt & Pepper to taste

 Method:

 1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, and roughly chop the onion and garlic. Add to the pan with the chilli flakes and cook for 5 minutes, until the onion is starting to soften.

2. Add the pork and all of the spices, and fry until the pork is browned on all sides. At this point, remove the pan from the heat and empty the contents into a large, ovenproof casserole dish with a lid (the lid is really important!). Add the tomato puree, tinned tomatoes, stock, jalapeno juice (if using) and salt and pepper. Mix well and transfer to the oven, setting the timer for 30 minutes.

3. Once the 30 minutes is up, remove the casserole dish and give the mixture a good stir. You may find that you need to add a little more water if it looks like the mixture is drying up a little. Put back in the oven for another 30 minutes.

4. After 30 minutes, remove the casserole dish and check to see if the pork is cooked. To do this, remove a piece from the mixture and use two forks to pull the meat apart. It should shred really easily. If it doesn’t, and is still a little tough, put back in the oven for another 15 minutes. If you think your meat is cooked, then shred all of the pork using the ‘two forks’ technique, and transfer back to the dish. Stir well, put the lid back on and set to one side until ready to serve.

 Foodie Tip: I normally serve this with wraps, sour cream, salad and all of the usual Mexican trimmings, but it would be equally as nice served with rice, as an alternative to chilli con carne.
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