We may not have scorching summers like Mexico, but with the temperature rising, now is the perfect time to feast on the country’s tasty fare.
Here’s a recipe to try from former ‘MasterChef’ winner Thomasina Miers’ new book, ‘Wahaca: Mexican Food at Home’.
(Serves 10-12 but freezes well)
3kg neck of pork, cut into a few large pieces
1 habanero or Scotch bonnet chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
For the marinade:
1tsp allspice berries
2tsp freshly ground cumin seeds
100g achiote paste (optional,
3tbsp cider vinegar
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
3 fat garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
Large bunch of fresh oregano or 1tsp dried oregano
3 fresh bay leaves
2tbsp sea salt
3tbsp olive oil
Juice of 6 oranges (about 450ml)
First make the marinade. Warm the spices in a dry frying pan, then grind to a fine powder. Place in a blender with the achiote (if using) and vinegar, onion, garlic, herbs, salt and olive oil, and pulse to start breaking up the achiote. Slowly pour in the orange juice to form a smooth paste.
Pour about two-thirds of the marinade over the pork and efrigerate overnight. Freeze your remaining marinade or keep it fresh for a week in the fridge (and try it with something else, like barbecued chicken).
Preheat the oven to 130C/250F/gas mark 1. Transfer the pork and marinade to a large casserole dish and add the chilli and butter. Bring to simmering point then cover with foil and a lid, and cook as slowly as possible for three to four hours, until the pork is soft and falling apart. Serve chunks of pork in deep bowls with rice or steamed potatoes.