Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Cooking: Mexican Pork Chipotle

I hadn't eaten a lot of Mexican food before living in New York. However in NYC I developed a real apprecition of the food from the USA's southern neighbour. It's a cuisine that I like, but am not very adept at cooking (yet - hopefully). When I recently saw a recipe for some pulled pork chipotle I decided to give it a try.

The only slightly out there ingredient are chipotle chilies in adobe sauce. Something that is not easy to find in Sydney! My new friend Phuoc provided a couple of suggestions that either drew a blank of were too far away. I eventually ended up at Fiji Market in Newtown (discovered via another foodie John). Fiji Market is a great shop packed with lots of ingredients and cooking paraphernalia from te Pacific Islands, India, Mexico, Japan and Thailand. There's stuff all over the floor and piled up on shelves; the place is really cool in a bohemian kinda way.

Armed with the recipes and some improvisation I managed to cook myself a Mexican feast!

Serves 3-4 people

Pebre / Tomato salsa:

When I was in Chile at every restaurant while you were choosing from the menu you were brought a bowl of pebre and some bread. A common cry from my friends and I was Mas pebre por favor!, we couldn't get enough of the stuff. Despite the recipe being very simple I only recently discovered the authentic taste.

3 ripe tomatoes
1 red onion
1/2 jalapeno chilli, chopped (I used some jalapenos I had in a jar)
1/4 cup chopped coriander
Juice of one lime

Heat a pan of water to a rolling boil. Also prepare a bowl of ice water. Score a small cross in the base of the tomatoes, plunge them into the boiling water for 15 seconds (you should see the skins to start to peel where you made the cross) and then refresh in the ice water. Remove from the ice bath, remove the skins, de-seed and then finely chop.

Put the tomatoes in a bowl and add all the remaining ingredients. The pebre tastes even better after it has marinaded for 24hrs.

Chipotle Sauce

2 garlic cloves
400ml tomato pasatta
2/3 chipotle chillies in adobo sauce
Olive oil
Sea salt

Heat a pan over a high heat and put the unpeeled garlic cloves into a dry pan. Cook them for 15mins turning the garlic half way through. This will roast the garlic and blacken the skins. Remove the pan from the heat, take the garlic cloves out of the pan and allow them cool. Once they are cool enough to handle squeeze the garlic out of their skins.

Put a splash of olive oil in the pan, add the tomato pasatta, garlic cloves and one chipotle chilli. Use a hand blender to blitz the mixture. Taste it and then add the additional chillies to taste. Add the salt and then cook over a medium heat to thicken the sauce.

The sauce is ready to use later. It will have a delicious smokey flavour and a kick from the chillies. (This might make more sauce than you need, but just freeze the extra for next time.)

Pork Chipotle

400g of pork shoulder
2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
1 onion, peeled and cut in half
Sea salt
Olive oil

Place the pork, garlic, onion and a pinch of salt in a pan and add just enough water to cover. Simmer over a low heat for one and a half hours until the pork is very tender.

When cooked remove the pork from the 'stock', allow to cool slightly and then shred using a couple of forks.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and then added the shredded pork and fry for a few minutes to get the pork crispy. Add your chipotle sauce (you want the mix to be thick so only a little at a time) and heat through.

Serve with tortillas and avocado. You could add some lettuce, sour cream or rice - basically whatever you fancy!

I really love how tender the pork is and the smokiness from the chipotle chillies. My hand slipped and I add five chillies, my goodness it's hot!


  1. Oh my.. That looks finger-licking good! I've never had mexican food besides the odd nachos/tacos etc, but I definately need to try this one out since my family have a love affair with chilli (especially my dad! He puts it in everything!)

    Thanks for the recipe! Nice shot of the food Mmm...

  2. I hope you in enjoy it, let me know how you get on!

    The chipotle sauce is the trickiest thing to get right, just keep tasting and adjusting it. My sauce was a little thick from the passatta only, so I added a few tinned toms to thin it slightly.

  3. My sinuses are blocking up just looking at that pic. Looks delicious. I wish I could eat loads of chilli like I used to. These days I suffer for it, big time. Nice to see you got to Fiji Market