This versatile mixture makes the most of an inexpensive cut of meat. The recipe doubles easily.
Make Ahead: The pork can be slow-roasted 2 days in advance, allowed to cool and refrigerated in its heavy foil wrapping. Reheat in a 325-degree oven for 20 minutes, then unwrap and shred. The pork mixture can be made 1 day in advance. (Be advised that the chipotles may dispense more heat through the dish with a few days' refrigeration.) The avocado cream should be assembled no more than 1 hour before serving.
Servings: 12 - 14
Yield: Makes about 14 cups
- For the pork mixture
- 1/3 cup store-bought or homemade grilling spice rub, such as McCormick's Grill Mates Pork Rub
- 3 pounds boneless pork (butt) shoulder, trimmed of most of its excess fat
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Kernels from 5 to 7 ears of corn (may substitute 4 to 6 cups frozen corn kernels, defrosted)
- 9 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 2 to 3 bunches scallions, white and light-green parts minced and reserved in 2 discrete piles
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons coarse-grain mustard
- 3 tablespoons cabernet vinegar (may substitute red wine vinegar)
- 12 canned chipotles in adobo, finely chopped (seeds included)
- 1 cup coarsely chopped packed cilantro leaves
- For the avocado cream
- Flesh of 3 medium Hass avocados
- 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon low-fat sour cream (do not use nonfat)
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- Fine sea salt
- Lime wedges, for serving
For the pork mixture: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Rub the barbecue spice all over the pork shoulder. Wrap in heavy-duty aluminum foil, being careful to cover the meat entirely so it is not exposed to direct heat.
Place on a baking sheet and slow-roast for 2 to 3 hours or until the internal temperature measures--0 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. (At this point, the meat can be cooled and refrigerated in its foil wrap for up to 2 days.)
Transfer to a cutting board to cool slightly, then use heatproof gloves or 2 forks to pull the meat into shreds. Place in a large mixing bowl.
Heat the oil in a large saute pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the corn and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it has slightly darkened in color. Add the garlic, the whites of the scallions and the salt, stirring to combine; cook for 2 minutes, then remove from heat.
Combine the mustard, vinegar, chopped chipotle peppers, scallion greens, cilantro and salt to taste in a medium bowl; add to the shredded pork along with the corn mixture and toss until well incorporated. (At this point, the mixture can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 day.)
For the avocado cream: Puree the avocado in a food processor until smooth, then transfer to a medium bowl and fold in the sour cream, lime juice and salt to taste. If not serving immediately, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate until ready to use.
The pork mixture can be served warm or at room temperature, with chips, the avocado cream and lime wedges on the side.
Adapted from executive chef Chris Siversen of the Glazier Group, a restaurant and catering business in New York.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
Email questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.