West Indian Crispy Pork

Prep: 30 minutes

Cook: 1 1/2 hour

Serves: 4

This recipe is from Mark Bittman’s award-winning cookbook How to Cook Everything. Mark says the recipe works best with fattier cuts of pork, so we’re suggesting the Niman Ranch pork shoulder roast. The extra fat helps keep the meat moist and absorb the spices. The oven or the grill both work fine for this recipe, to avoid the spattering that can occur when cooking in a skillet. If you plan to grill, cut the pieces in slightly larger chunks, about 1 1/2 to 2 inch cubes, and put them on skewers.

Ingredients

1 1/2 to 2 lbs Niman Ranch pork shoulder roast, trimmed of most external fat

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 tsp ground allspice

1/2 tsp ground or freshly grated nutmeg

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 c minced onion or scallion

1 tbsp peanut, olive or vegetable oil

1/2 c freshly squeezed lime juice

1/2 c stock or water

Directions

  1. Cut the meat into 1-inch or larger chunks (see note above regarding cooking method and size). Toss with all other ingredients except the stock or water. Cover and marinate, refrigerated, for as long as you like, up to 2 days. The longer you marinate them, the more intense the marinade flavor.
  2. If using the oven, preheat to 375°F. Place the meat in a roasting pan large enough to allow it to fit in one layer. A tight fit is ok because the cubes will shrink in cooking. Roast for about 1 hour, shaking and stirring the meat occasionally, until the meat is brown and crisp on all sides.Remove the meat with a slotted spoon. Serve hot or at room temperature
  3. If grilling, cook the cubes over direct but relatively low heat, turning frequently, until brown and crisp, about 20 minutes.
  4. Roast the meat, serve with a sauce made by pouring off all but 1 or 2 tablespoons of the fat, leaving any solids and as much non-fatty liquid behind as possible. Place the pan on a burner over high heat, add 1/2 cup stock or water, and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan, until the liquid is reduced by about half and all the solids are incorporated. Pour over the pork bits and serve.