Monday, March 31, 2014

Chipotle Orange Braised Pork

I love when I taste something new that blows my mind.  A combination of flavours that I've never tasted before yet seem so perfect together that I can't actually believe it is the first time I'm tasting them.  Since I've been experimenting with food for so long, that rarely happens to me anymore, but years ago when I tried the combination of orange and chipotle together for the first time, that was the reaction I had.

This is a big recipe, so it feeds many or is great as leftovers.  Actually, like most braises, it is better when made a day ahead of time so that the flavours have time to mingle and the fat can separate.  Pork shoulder is a very fatty meat, so you either need to separate it out in a fat separator, or cool it and skim the fat off the top.  Because this is a slow braise, it is better with cheaper, tougher cuts of meat (like shoulder).  Don't try to make it with pork loin in order to cut down on the fat content (Mom!).  This recipe takes at least five hours to cook, so it's great to make on a Sunday afternoon and then eat for leftovers during the week.

Serve with brown rice, farro, or other whole grain ( I tried it with both rice and farro, and it was definitely better with chewy farro).  It's even better when served with sweet cooked carrots.  Yield: Approximately 6 - 8 servings


1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp salt

14 oz diced tomatoes
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
2 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 -1 whole chipotle pepper, minced (depending on how hot you like it)
1 tsp cumin

1 4-5 pound pork shoulder

fresh cilantro, chopped


1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In a heavy dutch oven, sauté the onion in the oil with the salt until it is translucent.

3. While the onion is sautéing, combine the tomatoes, orange juice, honey, vinegar, mustard, salt, garlic, chipotle, and cumin in a small bowl.

4. Cut the string off the pork shoulder roast if it has it.  Trim the roast of any excess fat and cut into four quarters.

5. Push the onions to the side of the pot, and place the pork on the bottom of the pot. Cover with the liquid mixture.

6. Cover with a lid and place in the oven.  Turn the oven temperature down to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

7. Cook for 5 - 6 hours (mine took 6, but I think my oven runs cool) without opening the oven door or until the meat falls apart when you pull on it with two forks. Separate the fat from the sauce or skim off any fat that is siting on the surface.

8. Serve on top of rice, farro, or other whole grain, and garnish with cilantro.  Enjoy!

Shopping Tips:

1. Chipotle peppers can be found in any grocery store by the taco ingredients.  They come in a very small can packed in adobe sauce.  You only need one, so you will have to buy way more than you need, but they can be frozen for a later use.  They are a great addition to salsa.

2. The handy dandy fat separator that you see pictured above was an awesome present from my brother and sister-in-law.  I'd been putting off buying one for years (even though they only cost about $10) because I kept telling myself that I didn't really need one, but trust me, they are soooooo handy!

This can be made at any time of the year, but is a great warmer on a chilly night.

1 comment:

  1. So funny!!! When I read "pork shoulder", I immediately wondered if pork tenderloin would be a suitable substitute.... you know me too well, Daughter! Dad's at the grocery store right now buying the ingredients so we'll be trying this one this weekend. Mom