Cochinita Pibil meet Pork vindaloo
Posted by fourclankitchen on September 26, 2010
By mid morning this Saturday, I wanted to make cochinita pibil in the worst way. Cochinita Pibil (literally, “buried baby pig”) is a Yucatan Pork dish marinated in citrus juices and achiote paste and slow cooked in banana leaf wraps. By the time it is done, it is a thing of beauty: deep red, complex, earthy and rich. Trouble was I had only butterflied pork chops, and no orange juice, or achiote paste, or banana leaves. So I decided to cut a path between Cochinita Pibil and Pork Vindaloo (vindalho: Pork made with wine and garlic/alho), a dish of Indo-Portuguese origin, kicked upto an artform by Goan Indians. So here is what I did:
3 butterflied pork tender loins split into 6 total pieces
6 tbs apple cider vinegar
2-3 tbs. lemon juice
2 ½ tbs. sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
2 dry cayenee peppers- dry broken into bits (omit if you dont like heat)
1 stick cinnamon, broken into smaller bits
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp pepper corn (reduce if the heat bothers you)
3 cloves garlic
2 tbs. oil, divided
¾ cup cilantro stems- thoroughly washed and crudely chopped.
1-2 tbs. of cilantro leaves, chopped (optional)
In a coffee grinder, grind together the cinnamon, cayenne peppers, cumin powder, pepper corns till the mixture is more or less a powder. The cayenne peppers may not get fully pulversized, but no matter. Pulse the garlic and the cilantro stems in the food processor, until smooth. Then add the vinegar, salt, lemon juice, 1 tbs. oil and sugar to make a fairly thin marinade. Add the dry ingredients to the food processor and pulse briefly to mix everything together.
Let the pork chops marinade in the fridge for 3-4 hours.
3-31/2 hours before you are ready to eat, place the oven rack on the lowest rung and preheat to 350˚F. In a large dutch oven, heat the remaining 1 tbs. oil, drain and brown the pork chops, a few min to each side. Pour the rest of the marinade into the dutch oven, cover and cook in the oven for 2-3 hours. If you want to eat this pork with Spanish Rice, then check the pork at 2 hours. It should have completely softened by now and should be ready to eat. If you want it a bit drier as a filling for tortillas then continue cooking for another 1/2-1 hour, until the liquid has almost all dried off and the sugars have caramelized on the pork. Adjust the salt to your taste, garnish with cilantro and eat.