Pulled Pork Bites

pulled_pork_photo

I’m constantly trying to find fun, new, one- to two-bite appetizers that are easy to eat as finger food. The photo above was taken at an event I did this past winter. It is pulled pork on plantain chips, topped with tomatillo salsa and diced avocado.

In this photo, I used store-bought plantain chips as the base, but you can make your own, using the recipe I posted in March (and that’s what I’ll do when I prepare the recipe again). Also, I used a store-bought tomatillo salsa on that occasion, but next time I’ll try adding my Salsa Verde (that I posted in September 2011). If you have your own favorite salsa recipe, I encourage you to try that as well.

Pulled Pork with Tomatillo Salsa and Plantain Chips
Makes 3-4 cups
4 pounds fatty pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces
3 cups water
1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
½ orange, cut into 2 pieces
¼ cup pork lard or vegetable oil
8 garlic cloves, peeled
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican, crumbled
2 teaspoons fine salt, or 4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup tomatillo salsa (or a salsa of your choice)
2 cups plantain chips

Put all of the ingredients–except salsa and chips–in a wide, heavy 6- to 7-quart pot (don’t worry if the pork is not completely covered), and bring the water to a boil, skimming the surface as necessary. Lower the heat and simmer vigorously, stirring occasionally, until the pork is fork-tender and the liquid has completely evaporated, 1½ to 2 hours.

Discard the orange pieces and bay leaves. If the liquid hasn’t evaporated after 2 hours, transfer the pork pieces to a bowl and let the liquid continue to bubble away, stirring often, until it has.

Preheat the oven to 450° F. Transfer the pork and fat to an ovenproof dish, if necessary–the pan I use is ovenproof, so I can pop it right in the oven–and brown the pork, uncovered, in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes. There’s no need to stir.

The pork keeps in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Tina’s Tip: If you want to make half a batch, halve the amount of pork, salt, and oregano, but use the same amount of the remaining ingredients and water. You will need to use a slightly smaller pot in order to keep the pork mostly in the braising liquid.

To assemble, use about 1 teaspoon of shredded pork per plantain chip. Top with approximately 1/4 teaspoon salsa. These are served at room temperature and need to be assembled just before serving to prevent the plantains from getting soggy.

Adapted from a recipe on epicurious.com for Braised and Fried Pork.

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