Paige and I have become really resourceful when it comes to making our meals. Since we are on a budget it is crucial for us to find whats in season and where the good quality shops are. We have been lucky to have found an awesome Butcher (Vermeys Quality Meats) that is about a 4 min walk from our apartment and have a few little boutique markets nearby. I am sure Paige has mentioned that there is a lack of good ethnic foods in Hobart especially Mexican food. It is virtually non-existent. So with our resourcefulness I have been piecing together ingredients so that I can replicate my mothers cooking and the mexican cuisine that both Paige and I long for every day.
I know that Paige has gotten tired of me selling my mexican cooking to all our friends every time food from home came up. So instead of just talking the talk I have been walking the walk. Before we left home I made sure I spent a day with my Mom learning the craft or her delicious salsas. Since we got here in Tassie I have been trying to find ingredients to make that mexican flavor, and I think I made my mom proud last night.
It is funny that when we have something so accessible you become compliant and lazy. I never spent so much time back home trying to make mexican food. I mean, I would make simple stuff like tortillas, pico de gallo, and carne asada. But, I would never dive deep into the world of toasted salsas with sesame seeds, guajillo and arbol peppers, and a sauted tomato let alone carnitas. In the last couple of weeks I have been practicing my skills with the tortillas, making corn (with store bought masa), flour, and a combo with wheat flour and corn. My salsas are becoming consistent batches of vinegar base arbol spicy salsa, sauteed guajillo and arbol peppers with steamed tomato salsa and the iconic pico de gallo. The beans are getting rich in texture and flavorful. The rice….well lets not go there yet, we have a few more months left here. With all my sides and toppings ready (besides the rice) I needed the main ingredient to any mexican course, the meat. Everybody back home knows that my choice when ordering a taco or a burrito is Carnitas. So the decision was easy that I would try my hand at that. But it was pretty daunting at first, I remember the huge copper pots my uncles would use to deep fry the pork. Not having a huge copper pot or the desire to use it made me search for other options. There were a few recipes out there but nothing seemed quite right. I decided to piece a few together and give it a go. I went to Vermeys and asked them for pork shoulder, No problem, I got some beautiful Bruny Island rolled pork shoulder that smelled so good you never would buy anything else. I cut it up in 3-4 inch chunks and salted it heavily. I put it in the fridge and let it sit for about 3 days. I then heated up the Le Creuset and browned the pork with a bit of butter. After it was properly browned I put a cup of water and scraped the bits on the bottom. Then a couple of bay leaves later, a bit of black pepper, and enough water to barely cover the pork I put it in the oven at about 400 degrees for a couple hours. Remember, this was a piecing of a lot of recipes and my goal of making the meat as simple as possible. Some recipes called for oranges, others coke, gross…not for me.
Well, anyway, IT WAS DELICIOUS!!! So good. I might have some now for breakfast.