I often think what would my life be without pork?... it's a question that distresses me a little. I'm a pork lover... and technically, pork isn't a Mexican thing. Mexicans had no pork until the Spaniards brought them into the country in the 16th century. It's so hard to believe, isn't it?! But then, can you fathom Italian cuisine without tomatoes? No? same here, but tomatoes did not arrive into Europe until they were shipped back from Mexico in one of the many boats full of culinary treasures back to Spain. Turkey, Tomatoes, Chilies, Vanilla, Chocolate, Squashes, Avocados... all native of Mexico and not known to the world until the Spanish conquistadores brought them into Europe. I know, I know, I'm such a sad food geek!
We spent Easter (which feels like a million years ago) with our friends Margaret and Alfie from Old Farm. We source our pork and fabulous pork lard from their farm in county Tipperary and you can read about their life and happenings at Margaret's stunning blog, A Year in Redwood. Margaret and Alfie (who's a little grumpy and loves to stirr it, but has a heart as big as a polar bear) have become very dear friends of ours. Their passion for good, clean and honest food is second to none and their produce has become the inspiration for many of my recipes, like my sausage pasta, or my cochinita Pibil. We stock up on their meat on the way back home and I was delighted to find a couple of pork neck pieces in my bounty. The meat is very tender and lean, plus they are a good size for a meal for four people (I love leftovers).
When I got home I made this fruity Mexican adobo, which was perfect for marinading one of those neck pieces. I am so pleased with the results, I hope you like them too! The adobo keeps well in the freezer (if you have any leftovers) and I envision it gracing the flesh of a meaty fish very soon.
Put the tomato in a hot griddle or pan and pan-roast it for about 8 minutes, turning it every few seconds so the whole tomato is charred. Set aside.
Deseed the Guajillo and Ancho chilies, taking stems and seeds out. Transfer the cleaned chilies to a pot of boiling water and cook them for 5 minutes or until the chilies are soft and the flesh looks tender. When they're ready, take them out and discard all the water.
In the blender or food processor, put the rest of the ingredients of the adobo and add the tomato and the drained chilies when they are ready. Blend until you have a smooth sauce. Transfer the sauce to a jug so it is easy to pour it out into the meat.
Put the meat in a roasting dish. Pour the adobo over the meat, be generous, but don't over do it, if there is adobo left, freeze it in a container with a lid. Use your hands to coat all the meat with the adobo sauce.
Pour the apple cider on the side of the dish, taking care not to wash out the adobo from the meat. Cook in a pre-heated oven at 180º Celsious for 1hour and 40 minutes or until a meat termometer shows the inside of the meat at 160 degreese. Alfie recommends 35 minutes of cooking time per pound of meat.
I normally don't cover the meat, so you'll notice some of the adobo caramelised and burn a little, don't worry, it's only natural and I like it that way. If you want to avoid this, simply cover the meat loosly with tin foil half way through its cooking process. Then uncovered it for the last 15 minutes of the cooking time to get it to caramelise for you.
Take the meat out and cover it with tin foil while it rests for about 10 minutes. Then slice it and serve it with your prefer sides. It's truly a delicious meal!
This pork is super tasty. I had leftovers and we had them the following day as a sandwich on crusty bread with mayonnaise, some avocado, fresh tomatoes and onions. It was to die for! Great alternative to the Sunday Roast.