Thursday, January 26, 2012
Crock-Pot Cuban Pork and Black Beans
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I spend a few days each year working with a group of women who develop recipes for low-income families. Our goal is to develop nutritious meals that have wide appeal. These recipes must use inexpensive ingredients but still deliver meals that are flavorful, wholesome and delicious. This slow cooker meal, adapted from Family Circle Magazine, is an example of the type of recipe the group experiments with. It is patterned after Lechon Asado, a slow cooked pork roast that is a signature dish of Cuban cooking. Addressing the concerns of those on limited budgets, the group opted to use a loin of pork rather than its shoulder, because the loin is less expensive here. They opted to serve the pork over rice rather than in rolls which would have added a couple of dollars to the meal. Eliminating the bread allowed them to make black beans to serve alongside the pork. They also decided to use pickle relish instead of chopped pickles. While relish is a common ingredient in their pantries, pickles are not. The original recipe was made in a crock-pot, but not all of the group owned them. As an alternative, they cooked the pork stove-top for about 3 hours. They felt that baking it in a 250 degree oven for 5 or more hours was a waste of energy, a point that is awfully hard to argue. The recipe the group came up with follows. I've highlighted the changes they made to the original recipe. This is really a great family meal. The citrus overtones of the pork play nicely against the heat of the black beans that appear below. I know you will enjoy dish. Its flavor improves with age and I'd suggest you make this a day before you plan to serve it. Here's the recipe.
Crock-Pot Cuban Pork...Recipe inspired by Family Circle Magazine
3 pounds boneless, skinless pork shoulder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 cup orange juice
Zest of 1 lime
1/4 cup lime juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/3 cup drained dill pickle relish
2 sweet onions (such as Vidalia), thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1) Season pork with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Brown all sides of pork, about 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside.
2) Put tomato paste, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, orange zest and juice, lime zest and juice , cumin, oregano and broth into liner of slow cooker and stir to combine. Add onions, garlic and pickle relish. Place browned pork on top. Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 hour. Reduce heat to LOW and cook for 4 to 5 hours longer. Remove meat from slow cooker and using 2 forks pull it into shreds. Return to slow cooker and heat through.
3) Stir in cilantro. Serve with rice or on ciabatta or Cuban rolls. Yield: 8 servings.
This is the quick and easy recipe that was developed for black beans. It uses canned beans, so the dish comes together very quickly. The beans are delicious.
Cuban-Style Black Beans
3 (14.5-oz.) cans undrained black beans
1 (1o-oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chilies (i.e. Rotel)
1/2 yellow onion diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
Heat olive oil in a medium-size pot. Add onions and sauté until soft. Add oregano and cumin and stir, then add can of diced tomatoes with green chilies. Add 2 cans of undrained beans and bring to a simmer. Cook on low heat for 20 minutes, Drain reserved can of beans and add to pot. Cook 10 minutes longer. Serve hot. Yield: 8 to 10 servings.
One Year Ago Today: Crock-Pot Posolé
Two Years Ago Today: Mexican Skillet Cornbread