You may remember that last week we bought a slow cooker. I knew it wouldn’t be long until I was leaving for work with a pork shoulder cooking away, waiting to be made into pulled pork tacos at the end of the day.
I was a little bit wrong… that scrumptious hunk of meat turned out to be a neck, after the good people at The Butchers Nest got a delivery just in time and gave me their premium selection. The neck was perfect, no bone, not much fat, basically 1.5kgs of meaty meat.
Jill came to the rescue with some black beans and guac and a delicious mexican salad for the side. Meanwhile, I learnt that the verde part of salsa verde means green… and that it was filled with herbs, capers, red wine vinegar and anchovies. An odd combo, and one that I had some trepidation about… but by golly it was good. So fresh, and the salty little anchovies really carried it to a whole new place.
I mentioned the importance of the combination of the parts, and I haven’t mentioned a key component. Friends. I’ve heard it is still illegal in parts of mexico to eat tacos alone (Sorry, made that up), and so I was glad we had our friends Mike and Verity around to help us get our taco on.
The added bonus of slow cooking one and a half kgs of meat is the leftovers. We nailed it over the next few days in a breakfast (with beans and avo), a sandwich and a couple of salads. Raise your cervezas for mexican food!
For the Salsa Verde I followed the recipe of the very capable Jamie Oliver. I hand chopped it for added rustic-ness. It’s worth it, feels very home-style.
Jill also got her spicy blackbeans and avocado salad from Jamie.
As for the pork (start this recipe the day before you want to eat it):
1.5 kg of pork neck (or shoulder, boneless) – This made a LOT of pulled pork, but why not?
5 tablespoons of chilli powder
2 teaspoons of cumin
2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons of italian herbs (or oregano)
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon (I was a bit more generous than this)
2 teaspoons of salt
3 teaspoons of brown sugar
Whisk up all the ingredients together in a bowl.
Pat the roast dry with paper towel and then rub the spices all over. Really get into it. Then cover the whole thing in a bowl, along with the remaining spices, and put it in the fridge over night (you CAN get away with it marinating it for an hour or two, but the longer the better.
When it’s ready, heat some vegetable oil in a fry pan over medium-high heat and brown the neck on all sides. Should be about 5ish minutes.
Then put the whole thing in the slow cooker, on low heat, for around 11 hours. That’s it… no liquid required. It will generate some from its own fat.
Ours actually still looked like it could have used a tiny bit longer, so we put it in the oven at 120 degrees celsius for an hour or so, in its fat juice, while we waited for our guests to arrive.
Remove the roast and place it on a cutting board. Cut it into large chunks, and then, using two forks, pull the meat apart into shreds.
Stick it in your tacos and eat it up!
Music: Pepe Jaramillo – Mexican Pizza (the closest variant on YouTube is Mexican Tropicale)