Sunday, October 4, 2009

Carnitas & Black Beans


3 lbs. pork shoulder

2 tbs vegetable oil

1 tbs salt

1 tbs ground pepper

1 tbs paprika

1 tbs cayenne pepper

1 tsp oregano

2 bay leaves

2 cloves chopped garlic

2 large dried chipotle peppers

1/2 can coke

1/2 cup milk

2 tbs brown sugar

1. Trim the fat off of the roast. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet. While it’s getting hot, mix the spices together on a plate and roll the pork roast in them. Gently place the roast in the hot oil and sear all sides until browned.

2. Place it in the crockpot. Add the brown sugar, coke, milk, garlic, bay leaves and chipotle. Cook slow & low...5 hrs or so. It’s done when the pork starts to fall apart when poked with a spoon.

3. Remove the meat from the crockpot with a slotted spoon and shred it into smaller chunks. Remove any solids (peppers) from the broth. Pour into a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Fry the meat in this until it begins to crisp, and all the liquids are gone.

4. Serve with warmed corn tortillas, chopped fresh cilantro, wedges of lime, and diced red onion.

SpicyBlack Beans

2 cups dried black beans
2 1/2 quarts (10 cups) water
2-3 fresh sprigs oregano, or 1 Tbsp dried
3 bay leaves
6 small or 3 large sage leaves
2 teaspoons salt
4 Tbsp olive oil
2 yellow onions, chopped
2 chopped peppers – bell pepper, Anaheim, or jalapeño (your choice, depending on taste for heat), seeds, stems and ribs discarded
6 cloves crushed garlic
2 Tbsp chili powder or Tabasco to taste
1-2 teaspoons of puréed chipotle in adobo, chipotle Tabasco, or chipotle powder (to taste)
1 Tbsp cumin
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

1. Prepare the beans. Rinse and sort the beans, discarding any stones or shriveled beans. You can soak the beans overnight in cold water (cover with several inches of water) OR pour enough boiling water over them to cover by a few inches and soak them for an hour OR skip the pre-soaking step. Soaking will speed up the cooking process. If you soak, discard the soaking liquid after soaking.
2. Add beans to a large pot with 2 1/2 quarts (10 cups) of water. Add oregano, bay leaves, and sage. Bring the beans to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until the beans are soft, but not quite done. The time will vary depending on how large, dry, or old your beans are, and if you have pre-soaked them, from anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half.
3. While the beans are cooking, sauté onions and peppers in olive oil until soft. Add chili powder, and/or chili purée, cumin, and garlic. Sauté until spices are fragrant.
4. Fish out and discard the bay leaves, stems of oregano, and sage leaves from the pot of beans. Remove, but reserve, extra cooking liquid until there is about 1/2-inch of liquid above beans.
5. Add the onion mixture and salt to the pot of beans. Cook another hour or so until thickened. Add reserved liquid if needed.
6. Just before serving, add lime juice, and vinegar. Salt to taste. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro.
Serve with corn tortillas, and/or rice, sour cream, and salsa.
Serves 8.

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