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Bienvenidos a Los Dos: Recipes

About Chef David Sterling
 

  Chicharra en Salpicón Download PDF

 

Chicharra en Salpicón
CHOPPED SALAD OF PORK BELLY AND BACON
 
A FAVORITE OFFERING OF MÉRIDA'S CHICHARRONERÍAS, this hearty chopped salad is also sometimes known as X'nipek, although it should not be confused with the tomato table sauce of the same name. I don’t know why they seem to deliberately make things confusing, but they do, and to them it has some kind of inner logic, which I respect. And to make things even more confusing, this dish is a cousin to Tsi’ik, which is the Mayan word for the Spanish Salpicón – all of which just adds up to the fact that this is a chopped salad. Enough said. Either the chicharra surtida or the especial are used as the basis of the dish. The meats and/or organs are broken, chopped and shredded into small pieces, then mixed with chopped cabbage, tomato, cucumber, radish and cilantro. Salt, chopped habanero and sour orange juice are added to the mix and tossed. With a tortilla in hand, diners scoop up a batch of the mixture, fold the tortilla in half and shove it into the mouth, trying to keep more inside than on the table or floor! For our version, we have used only the pork belly, and we have also introduced slab bacon for additional flavor. That makes it truly “especial”.
 
Yield: 10 servings
 
• 35 oz (1 k) lard
• 8 oz (250g) slab bacon, cut into four equal portions
• 1 lb (500g) pork belly, skin intact
 
STEP 1 PLACE THE BACON AND PORK BELLY along with the lard in a heavy stock pot or Dutch oven. Simmer over medium heat until lard melts (the lard should completely cover the meats). Turn meats from time to time in order to brown evenly on all sides. Cook approximately 45 minutes or until meats are evenly browned and skin of the pork belly is crisp. Remove to drain and cool, then chop coarsely.

• 1 ½ cups (200g) tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
• 2 cups (17g) radishes, cut into thin julienne strips
• 1 cup (70g) chives, chopped
• 1 cup (40g) cilantro, finely chopped
• 1 cup (160g) red onion, finely chopped
• 2 cups (150g) green cabbage, finely shredded
• 3 chiles habaneros, stems removed and finely chopped
• ½ cup (125ml) juice of naranja agria (Also known as sour orange or Seville orange. Substitute: 2 parts fresh lime juice, 1 part each fresh orange juice and grapefruit juice)
• 1 tsp. (5ml) salt, or to taste

STEP 2  PLACE CHOPPED MEATS in a large, non-reactive bowl. Add remaining ingredients and toss to mix well.

• 3 oz. (75g) chicharrón (Also known as “cracklings”)

STEP 3  JUST BEFORE SERVING,  coarsely crumble chicharrón into the bowl with the other ingredients and toss to incorporate.

STEP 4  SERVE IMMEDIATELY with warm tortillas.

NOTE: Chicharrón becomes soggy with the orange juice incorporated in this dish. If you anticipate leftovers, reserve some of the chicharrón to add just before serving the remainder.

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