Slow Braised Pork Leg with Citrus and Fajita Seasoning

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Last month, my meat CSA sent us a pasture-raised boneless pork leg roast. WTF was I supposed to do with it? Undeterred, I scoured the internet and my voluminous cookbook collection and settled on a recipe in Molly Steven’s All About Braising. Remember? She’s the original creator of the World’s Best Braised Cabbage.

I modified her Caribbean Pork Shoulder recipe by subbing in fajita and taco seasoning for her spice blend, using a teaspoon of dried oregano in place of thyme, adding a couple bay leaves, and juicing a Meyer lemon instead of a lime.

Here’s what I assembled:

  • 3 pound boneless pork leg, tied
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from 1 medium orange)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice (from 1 medium lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon fajita and taco seasoning
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Here’s what I did:

I seasoned my pork leg liberally with salt and pepper. Then, I rubbed on the dried oregano and fajita and taco seasoning.

For the marinade, I whisked together the orange and lemon juices with the minced garlic. I placed the leg in a gallon Ziploc bag and poured on the marinade. I let the roast marinate in my fridge for 24 hours.

The next day, I preheated the oven to 300 F and I let the pork sit at room temperature while the oven heated. I transferred the pork leg to a large Dutch oven (5 to 6 quart) and poured on the remaining marinade and the 1/4 cup of water.

I covered the pot with parchment paper, pressing it down until it almost touches the pork, and put on the lid.

 I cooked the roast in the oven for 3.5 to 4 hours or until tender, turning it every hour.

I removed the string webbing…

…shredded up the meat…

…and poured on the defatted braising liquid.

Pretty tasty but a little on the dry side. Next time, I’m going to try this recipe with the cut she recommends: a 4 to 5 pound boneless Boston butt with skin on.

Go, butts!

Stock Your Pantry with Spice Hound Spice Blends

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I love to eat but am incredibly lazy. Good thing I’m willing to pay through the nose for items that make me seem like a good cook without any actual technical skill (e.g. SousVide Supreme).

In all seriousness, I think if you use high quality ingredients, your food will taste awesome without too much work.  And you don’t have to spend a ton of money.  For example, I love the spice blends from local spice purveyor Spice Hound.  They’re all really fresh, unique, and tasty and they cost ~$6-7 per half-cup container. I’m always on the look out for new spice blends because they’ll help you save so much time in the kitchen.

I bought these three sugar-free blends at the farmers’ market last Saturday:

Tabil is a Tunisian spice blend with a spicy kick made with coriander, minced garlic, crushed red pepper, and caraway seeds.  I cooked up some ground beef and diced onions tonight and seasoned it with some Tabil, salt, and pepper.  The dish took minimal work but tasted amazing.

Fajita & Taco Seasoning is a fantastic blend with ancho, Mexican oregano, garlic, thyme, tomato, sea salt, Worcestershire.  The crap you get at the store always has tons of sugar. I know you can make your own (and I have) but I’m lazy, remember?

 

I am really excited to experiment with Dukka.  It’s a traditional Egyptian spice blend with hazelnuts, sesame seeds, coriander, and cumin. 

The owner, Tammy Tan, is super nice, informative, and helpful. They have a new storefront in San Francisco and stands at a ton of farmers’ markets in the Bay Area.  I can’t wait to try more of their spices, salts, and blends!