As we navigate our way through week seven of lockdown, my days appear to have gradually merged into one endless fog of failed exercise attempts, and 11 am G&T’s; the only way I can even identify the days of the week is by the NHS clap that informs me when it is Thursday.
I have, however, continued to treat the kitchen as my laboratory; experimenting with recipes and flavours in a questionable, and quite frankly, frenzied manner that has seen the invention of some rather terrifying culinary monsters (Mary Shelley would be proud) but I have also had some absolutely marvellous breakthroughs.
With that in mind, I decided that the upcoming Cinco de Mayo event would be the perfect opportunity to sprawl my herbs and spices across the countertop, and delve into the world of Mexican cooking.
Cinco de Mayo on Tuesday 5th May is the annual celebration of the Mexican Army’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla; it’s also a bloody great excuse to drink tequila pretty much all day (there may be a theme occurring…)
I had a chat with the lovely Liam over at Spice Island Chilli about creating a Mexican-inspired dish using Drake’s Gold; a fruity, fiery chilli sauce made using habanero and pineapple – it pairs perfectly with pork, so it was a no-brainer…
This dish was created using the fundamental spices of most Mexican dishes (think Chilli con Carne) mixed together with a dollop or three of Drake’s Gold – slathered over a pork joint and left in a slow-cooker for 8 hours.
I was left with the most unbelievable, juicy pork that fell apart quicker than Matt Hancock discussing coronavirus testing.
You will need:
For the marinade:
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp mustard powder
3 tablespoons of Drake’s Gold chilli sauce
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/2 lime juice
A squirt of tomato paste
Salt and pepper
A bottle of dry cider
A pack or 2 of tortillas
2 red onions
- If you are an organised individual then I would recommend mixing all those crazy ingredients together, lighting some candles, putting on ‘sounds from the ocean’ and massaging them lovingly into your pork joint ready to leave overnight – not only will this give your meat a proper punch of flavour, it’ll offer the illusion of intimate human contact for five good minutes.
- If you’re less organised/lazy, then throw the marinade into the bottom of the slow cooker with some onions, pop your pork in and use tongs to coat the meat in the marinade; this is what I did, and the result appeared to work just as well.
- Pour over half a bottle of cider and leave on a low heat for 8-10 hours – I checked on it every couple of hours to make sure it wasn’t drying out.
- When the time is right, pull your pork apart using two forks, making sure to soak up all the juices at the bottom of the slow-cooker!
I served with tortillas, salad, tomato, and pickled red onions (made by chopping red onions, adding oregano, salt + pepper and a cup of white wine and leaving for 2-3 hours) with a cheeky bottle of Drake’s Gold left out for anyone feeling brave enough to add an extra kick.
Juicy pulled pork boasting gorgeous notes of pineapple with just the right level of spice to wake you up, but not too over-the-top; I would say this dish is perfect for those who want to get into spicier food, but aren’t sure where to start.
The crisp lettuce adds the perfect texture to the soft, moistened meat, with the tortilla wraps offering the perfect vessel for soaking up the marinade flavour.
If you have leftovers – fear not! Whack the pulled pork inside a nice bap, with lettuce, onion, and a drizzle of BBQ sauce, and you’ve got yourself the perfect lunchtime snack.
This was a really fun dish to create; the best part of any slow-cooker recipe is the ability to leave it to work it’s magic over the course of the day, filling your house with the unbeatable smell of home-cooked deliciousness.
If you end up giving it a try, I would love to know!