The new year brings great things. Such as, taco month.
What better way to ring in the new year than achiote seasoned slow cooked pork wrapped in banana leaves served on a taco with pineapple salsa?
Slow-Cooked Achiote Pork by Top Chef Masters winner, Rick Bayless
Half a 3.5oz package of achiote seasoning (Rick recommends Yucateco brand)
3/4 cup fresh lime juice (divided use)
Half a 1-pound package banana leaves (I found mine frozen)
3 lb bone-in pork shoulder roast
1 large white onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup water
6 oz beer (not part of the master's recipe, but I find that slow cooked dishes really like a drink. They deserve it - all that hard work to make the food tasty.)
Mix the achiote seasoning with 1/2 c of the lime juice and 2 teaspoons of salt. Mix into a smooth, thick marinade.
Line your slow cooker or dutch oven with banana leaves. One goes accross the length, and the other accross the width. Lay in the pork and pour the marinade over the meat. Scatter the white onion over the meat. Pour 1 c water around the meat and half of the beer you're drinking. Wrap up the meat with the banana leaves.
Cover and slow cook on high for 6 hours (the dish can hold on the slow-cooker's "keep warm" function for 4 more hours or so). Alternatively, cover and slow cook in a 300 degree oven for 3 hours, then turn down and cook at 250 for another hour.
While the meat is cooking, place the red onion in a quarter cup of lime or lemon juice to marinate. Stir occassionally.
Eating delicious snacks is a crucial component of slow cooking pork. Enter Marcia's famous taco dip:
While the meat cooks, make pineapple salsa.
1 pineapple, diced (1/2 inch cubes)
1 red pepper, diced (1/2 inch cubes)
2 serrano peppers, minced
1/2 red onion, minced
juice from 2-3 limes
1 cup chopped cilantro
Mix. Grab a chip. Dip.
Before you know it, the pork is done:
When the pork is finished cooking (it falls off the bone), pour the extra liquid into a sauce pan and heat on medium-high until reduced to a sauce of your desired consistency.
Assemble taco on a soft corn tortilla with meat, a tablespoon of sauce, marinated onions and pineapple salsa.