Growing the Desert Garden

Welcome to the Desert Garden, with garden coach Tyler Storey, where we talk about everything having to do with gardening and landscaping in the Desert Southwest. From composting to Cercidium and agaves to arugula — we'll cover everything you want to know to grow your own beautiful Desert Garden.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Citrus Month: Yucatecan Pork Lomitos

As I mentioned in my earlier post on Seville Oranges, the tree has become naturalized around the Caribbean Basin and the Gulf of Mexico, and has become a distinctive part of the regions' cuisines. The following recipe for pork lomitos is typical of a Yucatecan recipe using the Seville Orange. It's a good recipe for an inexpensive cut of pork, and is very good just served with tortillas on the side. It's become one of my favorites because, A) it uses ingredients from the garden, 2) it's very easy, and B) your guests will think it's more complicated than it is – this is how reputations are made.

Yucatecan Lomitos with Seville Orange
Serves about 6

  • 1 TBSP Recado Rojo or Achiote seasoning (this comes in little cubes and you can find it at any Mexican market)
  • juice of one Seville Orange
  • 2 pounds boneless pork, country ribs will work, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • about 2 TBSP olive or other cooking oil
  • 3/4 pound of tomatoes, chopped but not peeled
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped
  • 1 small chile poblano, chopped
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 head of garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 chile habanero, jalapeno, or other green hot chile
  • water

Dissolve the recado rojo in the orange juice, and mix with the pork in a bowl; set aside to marinate for about a half-hour. Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan or large skillet, and fry the tomato, pepper, poblano chile and onion together over high heat, scraping and stirring for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle on the salt and leave to simmer on low.

Toast the whole garlic over high heat in a frying pan or griddle until it's well-browned on the outside, then toast the hot chile.

Add the meat and it's marinade to the saucepan with the tomato mixture, and add about 2 cups of water, to barely cover. Squeeze the toasted garlic cloves from their skins and add it to the pot along with the toasted chile, and bring it all to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about an hour, or until the meat is tender. If the sauce is watery, turn up the heat to reduce it quickly.

Serve the lomitos hot, with tortillas. If you're not expecting guests, eat it right out of the pan; it saves on the washing-up.


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