Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Mojo Marinade

Living in Texas, I'm lucky enough to live down the street from not one, but several Hispanic groceries. And tamales are a mainstay at this time of year. (We'll be ordering and devouring several dozen when the family comes over for Christmas...) What goes into tamales? Pork shoulder. And thanks to some practice, I have learned how to nail a braised pork shoulder.

Whatever the seasoning, the technique is the same. Marinate if you'd like (more on that in a second). Score the skin and fat in a diamond pattern. Bake at 400° for 45 minutes to get the skin brown and crispy. Add a bit of liquid if it needs it...wine, apple juice and chicken broth are all good choices. Cover and braise at 300° until internal temperature is 180°. (That will take about 4 hours for a 7 pound roast.) The pork will fall off the bone. You can pull it apart and serve as roast, in tacos or on a bun. You'll love it.

As for the marinade, lots of options here too. How about garlic pepper and oregano for Italian style. BBQ rub for authentic pulled pork. Or mojo for a truly Latin twist. Again, thanks to the neighborhood carniceria, I can buy this bottled, but why not make it from scratch. Even more delicious...

(You can use this on chicken and beef for a mean fajita as well.)

Mojo Marinade

1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin
30 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups fresh orange juice
2 cups fresh lime juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Purée oregano, cumin, garlic, and 2 tbsp. orange juice in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper. Add remaining orange juice and lime juice and stir to combine.

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