Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Upside Down Tropical Pork Pot Pies!

This recipe is the third of four recipes created using Boston Butt as the protein. The pork is marinated in  a subtle, yet surprisingly flavorful implement of mango, lemon, garlic and fennel pollen.  Fennel pollen originated in the Meditteranean, but has more recently emerged on the west coast and coastal regions in the Americas.  This spice is similar to anise,  with a licorice flavor profile and remniscent of other spices like saffron and curries.  This spice has been highly prized and revered in Italian cuisine for centuries, but a newly found "secret ingredient" to western civilization.  A little goes a long way when using this gem, so when developing recipes, be mindful of it's usage. 
The pork is simmered until tender in a dutch oven with new potatoes, poblano chiles and onions.  The results are then mounded onto a wonderfully crispy and flaky version of a sopapilla or Central American fried bread with pockets, made with coconut milk and served drizzled with a buttermilk ranch that has been thinned with the addition of more buttermilk. 
The flavor infusion of these magnificent ingredients and the tenderizing components of the mango, send the tastebuds on an island getaway, hence the name.  My mother and also my most discerning critic, enjoyed this dish tremendously, as well as my sister and fellow foodie, Bonnie. 
Recipe:
About 2 lbs. Boston Butt, trimmed and cut into 1/4  and 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 tsp. plus 1/8 tsp. fennel pollen
3 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
1 large very ripe mango, mashed into paste-like consistency
1 large lemon
3 c. new potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
3 poblano chilies, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 c. onion, halved, both halves quartered
fresh parsley for garnish
buttermilk ranch for drizzling
olive oil for drizzling
SPST
Island Sopapillas:
3 c. all pupose flour
1 1/2 tsp. double acting baking powder
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
3 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 to 3/4 c. coconut milk
oil for frying
Toss pork with fennel pollen and garlic.  SPST.  Add to large resealable bag and add crushed mango and lemon juice and toss to coat.  Press out excess air and seal.  Marinate for 4 to 24 hours. 
Preheat oven to 350*.
In a large saute pan drizzled with olive oil, over medium high heat, sear pork in small batches and transfer to 6 1/2 quart.
dutch oven.
 Once all pork has been seared, place veggies on top without stirring, SPST and cover. 
Bake until pork is tender, about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours. 
Carefully fold veggies with pork before serving. Makes about 10 -1 cup servings.
Meanwhile, combine flour baking powder and salt. 
Cut in olive oil.
 Add enough coconut to flour so that it adheres together and forms a ball, adding flour if neccessary.  Knead for about 5 minutes until smooth. 
Place in bowl and let rest covered with a towel or plastic wrap for 15 minutes.
On lightly floured surface, cut ball into portions, after slightly rolling it out and cutting in half.  I cut mine into 11 portions. 
Roll each portion into thin pancake-like discs, about 6  to 8 inches in diameter.
Fry individully in hot oil until puffed and slightly golden.  Drain on paper towels. 
Mound  pork mixture onto center of sopapilllas and drizzle with buttermilk ranch.
Garnish with fresh parsley.

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