I don't know if I've sufficiently complained enough about the fact that there are six people living in my house this summer. I mean, can you really ever complain enough? There's a whole twitterverse of evidence that says: no. Anyhoo . . .
The fact is that I need to come up with food that can feed, then hang out in the fridge, then feed again. All at different times, in different applications, with different volumes. I think I have found the balm for headache, and its name is mojo.
Truthfully, it's a latino pulled pork (carnitas) and mojo sauce story I'm telling. Here's the deal: I bought the HUGE pork shoulder from Costco (yes, shut up, I need to feed six+ people, and they don't all deserve Fisher Farm pork, ok?), all 16 lbs. for roughly $32. Woot. I slather it up with all sorts of citrus-garlic-oregano fabulosity, cook it overnight in the oven, and pull it in the morning. I love those mornings, wrist-deep in crustiness, having coffee and pork fat for breakfast. Usually this yields me three big tubs of luscious pork (one to eat right away, one for the fridge, and one for the freezer.)
And then there's mojo. It started when I tried to replicate the mojo sauce from Brasa, because I couldn't stop thinking about it. I don't know how close I've come, but I'm happy with where I landed, a citrusy, herby sauce that has enough bite and tang to make that pork sing. And clearly the clan is happy with it because once the squeeze bottle gets filled, it's used on everything. Bring home fried chicken, crack out the mojo! Steam an artichoke, dip it in mojo! What's that on your turkey avocado sandwich? Yup.
So the pork and mojo has served us well. We kicked it off with tacos piled with pickled onions and queso fresco. We fourth-mealed it as nachos over chips with diced peppers. We dressed it up for guests as little apps, with pork daintily piled on a rice cracker, hit with mojo and a leaf of cilantro. We post-gamed late at night with pork, rice, and poached eggs. And we threw the whole mess into left-over burger buns for the classic car-sandwich-on-the-way. Win.
Latin-Style Pulled Pork (carnitas)
Pork shoulder, big one, 14-16lbs.
Coarsely chopped garlic (3-4 cloves)
Kosher salt (about 1/2 - 3/4 cup)
Pepper (crank as you like)
Freshly chopped oregano (at least 1 cup)
Olive oil (1/2 - 3/4 cup)
Limejuice, freshly squeezed (about 4 limes)
Orange juice (just a bit, maybe 1/4 cup)
Crushed red pepper (how you like)
Place the pork in a big pan, fat side up. Score the top of the pork with a knife, making small slits in the fat and meat. Mix all the ingredients into a sloshy paste, slather all over the top of the pork. Chill uncovered for at least three hours, up to eight.
Set oven to 250, pour beer into pan surrounding pork (not over top) and place in the oven at about 10 p.m. Go to bed, have porcine dreams. Wake up to amazing smells, and take out of the oven around 9 a.m. Check to make sure it pulls apart easily, if it doesn't, put it back in for another hour. Using forks and tongs pull pork and put into separate bowl, don't forget to mix in the crunchy and fatty parts.
3 cloves garlic
1/4 c. kosher salt
2 T. olive oil
1/2 c. fresh basil
1/2 c. fresh oregano
2 c. mayonaise
2-3 limes, freshly squeezed
In a food processor, chop garlic, salt, and olive oil into a paste. Add fresh herbs (and more olive oil if needed). Mix in mayo. Add lime juice, tasting as you go. Store in a squeeze bottle for fun.