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Milk Street Recipe
Milk Street Bowtie Colima-Style Shredded Braised Pork

Colima-Style Shredded Braised Pork

5¾ hours 40 minutes active

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Colima-Style Shredded Braised Pork

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The state of Colima on the western coast of Mexico is home to the pork dish called tatemado de Colima. Dried chilies, spices and aromatics, all blended to a smooth puree, are key flavorings, but a defining ingredient, other than the pork itself, is vinegar. In her version, recipe writer Paola Briseño-González uses a generous amount of smooth-tasting, subtly sweet coconut vinegar, a common ingredient in the coconut-producing region of Colima, and after slow-cooking the pork, she shreds the meat and mixes it with the braising liquid. The flavors are rich and porky but deliciously balanced by the tangy vinegar and fresh ginger, whose sharpness disappears into the mix. We adapted González’s recipe, and in doing so, found widely available rice vinegar to be a decent alternative to coconut vinegar. Traditionally, the pork is marinated, but we shortened this step to the time it takes the oven to heat (we braise in the oven, where the heat is steady and all-encompassing); we find that no taste is lost without a long marination, as the meat does a fine job of soaking up the seasonings after it is shredded. The meat is briefly broiled after braising to develop deep browning, so you will need a broiler-safe Dutch oven for this recipe. Serve the shredded pork with rice and beans, or make tacos with it, offering shredded cabbage, chopped onion and lime wedges alongside.

8

Servings

Tip

Don’t use an uncoated cast-iron Dutch oven, even if it is well seasoned. The acidity of the vinegar may react with the metal, resulting in a tinny, “off” flavor. However, an enamel-coated Dutch oven is fine.

5¾ hours

40 minutes active

4 large (1¼ ounces) guajillo chilies, stemmed and seeded
5-7 pound bone-in pork butt or pork shoulder roast
2 cups coconut vinegar or unseasoned rice vinegar
1 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup roughly chopped peeled fresh ginger
9 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
Ingredients
  • 4

    large (1¼ ounces) guajillo chilies, stemmed and seeded

  • 5-7

    pound bone-in pork butt or pork shoulder roast

  • 2

    cups coconut vinegar or unseasoned rice vinegar

  • 1

    cup coconut milk

  • cup roughly chopped peeled fresh ginger

  • 9

    medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

  • 3

    bay leaves

  • 1

    tablespoon tomato paste

  • ½
  • ½

    teaspoon cumin seeds

  • ½

    teaspoon white sugar

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Directions
  1. 01
    In a small saucepan, combine the chilies and enough water to cover by about 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high, pressing on the chilies to submerge them. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand until the chilies are fully softened, 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, using a sharp knife, score the fat side of the pork roast with a 1-inch crosshatch pattern. Set the pork scored side up in a large Dutch oven.
  2. 02
    Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chilies to a blender; discard the soaking water. Add the vinegar, coconut milk, ginger, garlic, bay, tomato paste, coriander, cumin, sugar, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour the puree over the pork and rub it into the meat, then cover the pot.
  3. 03
    Heat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the lower-middle position. When the oven comes up to temperature, place the pot in the oven and cook until a skewer inserted into the center of the pork meets no resistance, 4½ to 5½ hours.
  4. 04
    Remove the pot from the oven and heat the broiler. Return the pot, uncovered, to the oven and broil until the surface of the pork is deeply browned, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer the pork to a large bowl and set aside. Tilt the pot to pool the braising liquid to one side, then use a wide spoon to skim off and discard fat from the surface, leaving just a couple tablespoons for flavor. You should have between 2 and 4 cups defatted braising liquid; if you have more than 2 cups, set the pot over medium-high, bring the liquid to a rapid simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 2 cups. Meanwhile, shred the pork into large bite-size pieces, discarding the bone and excess fat.
  5. 05
    Return the shredded pork to the pot and stir to combine with the braising liquid. Cover and cook over medium-low, stirring occasionally, just until heated through, 5 to 8 minutes, then taste and season with salt and pepper.
Tip: Don’t use an uncoated cast-iron Dutch oven, even if it is well seasoned. The acidity of the vinegar may react with the metal, resulting in a tinny, “off” flavor. However, an enamel-coated Dutch oven is fine.
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Colima-Style Shredded Braised Pork

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8

Servings

5¾ hours

40 minutes active

Tip

Don’t use an uncoated cast-iron Dutch oven, even if it is well seasoned. The acidity of the vinegar may react with the metal, resulting in a tinny, “off” flavor. However, an enamel-coated Dutch oven is fine.

Ingredients
  • 4

    large (1¼ ounces) guajillo chilies, stemmed and seeded

  • 5-7

    pound bone-in pork butt or pork shoulder roast

  • 2

    cups coconut vinegar or unseasoned rice vinegar

  • 1

    cup coconut milk

  • cup roughly chopped peeled fresh ginger

  • 9

    medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

  • 3

    bay leaves

  • 1

    tablespoon tomato paste

  • ½
  • ½

    teaspoon cumin seeds

  • ½

    teaspoon white sugar

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Step 1 of 5

Prepare the Chilies and Pork

4
large (1¼ ounces) guajillo chilies, stemmed and seeded
5-7
pound bone-in pork butt or pork shoulder roast

In a small saucepan, combine the chilies and enough water to cover by about 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high, pressing on the chilies to submerge them.


Remove from the heat, cover and let stand until the chilies are fully softened, 15 to 20 minutes.


Meanwhile, using a sharp knife, score the fat side of the pork roast with a 1-inch crosshatch pattern. Set the pork scored side up in a large Dutch oven.

Step 2 of 5

Make the Chili Puree

2
cups coconut vinegar or unseasoned rice vinegar
1
cup coconut milk
cup roughly chopped peeled fresh ginger
9
medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
3
bay leaves
1
tablespoon tomato paste
½
teaspoon coriander seeds
½
teaspoon cumin seeds
½
teaspoon white sugar
1
tablespoon salt
1
tablespoon pepper

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chilies to a blender; discard the soaking water. Add the vinegar, coconut milk, ginger, garlic, bay, tomato paste, coriander, cumin, sugar, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute.


Pour the puree over the pork and rub it into the meat, then cover the pot.

Step 3 of 5

Cook the Pork

Heat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the lower-middle position. When the oven comes up to temperature, place the pot in the oven and cook until a skewer inserted into the center of the pork meets no resistance, 4½ to 5½ hours.

Step 4 of 5

Shred the Pork

Remove the pot from the oven and heat the broiler. Return the pot, uncovered, to the oven and broil until the surface of the pork is deeply browned, 2 to 4 minutes.


Transfer the pork to a large bowl and set aside. Tilt the pot to pool the braising liquid to one side, then use a wide spoon to skim off and discard fat from the surface, leaving just a couple tablespoons for flavor.


You should have between 2 and 4 cups defatted braising liquid; if you have more than 2 cups, set the pot over medium-high, bring the liquid to a rapid simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 2 cups.


Meanwhile, shred the pork into large bite-size pieces, discarding the bone and excess fat.

Step 5 of 5

Serve

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Return the shredded pork to the pot and stir to combine with the braising liquid. Cover and cook over medium-low, stirring occasionally, just until heated through, 5 to 8 minutes, then taste and season with salt and pepper.

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