This recipe was lovingly extracted from a Food and Wine article by Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Foods fame. Andrew, known primarily for scarfing, ahem, exotic world cuisine ranging from swamp rodent stew to sheep eyeballs (and sometimes just … balls), took some of his favorite adventurous eats and made them a bit more refined and approachable to the average palate.
The inspiration for this particular dish was Mexican street tacos. And not the undersized, overpriced finger food variety dished out at the local margarita bar, but actual street cart fare from the heart of Mexico. Like most street food, they were greasy and delicious – but you probably didn’t want to know exactly what was in them. In this case, it was pig small intestines, fried up and served with fresh salsa – a sort of chitterlin’ taco, if you will.
To retain all the rich, greasy, crispy, salty, porky goodness with none of the digestive tract, Andrew subbed in a confit of well-seasoned pork shoulder. Confit, for those of you with a limited (i.e. normal) internal culinary dictionary, is a French (imagine that…) cooking style in which meat is slow-roasted gently in its own (or added) rendered fat. Originally intended as a preserving mechanism (cooked meat packed in fat will keep for a few days without refrigeration), now confit just tastes good. It is, of course, exactly as delicious and rich as something cooked by slow deep frying sounds.
To complement the rich pork confit is an equally enticing grilled pineapple salsa. The smoky, caramelly sweetness of grilled fruit works beautifully with the pork, and the pineapple tartness combined with a touch of fresh mint lend an excellent bright counterpoint to the unctuous shredded pork. Wrap it up in a warm corn tortilla with a touch of queso fresco and a dollop of crema, and you’re in pig heaven (or maybe not heaven for the pig, since you are eating it, after all).
Hopefully that description was sufficient to get you salivating despite the reference to sheep (eye)ball consumption in the opening graph. On with the recipe… Read More…