This recipe evolved over time and started as a pulled pork meal (arroz con puerca) that I would serve with either yellow rice or brown and wild rice. Planning ahead, I would buy and cook a roast large enough to provide us with a minimum of two meals. I often disguise the leftovers a day or so later. Pulled pork and rice tonight would later be transformed into Bar-b-Que pork sandwiches, enchiladas, or the main ingredient in baked Mexican rice. A 4-6 lb. roast is usually sufficient for our needs. You can adjust it according to your lifestyle.
Personalize the ingredients to your family’s taste and preferences. I prefer the yellow onions to white, bone-in pork roast to boneless, culantro to cilantro. If you don’t have a food processor, don’t worry. Skip the paste/rub. Simply, peel the cloves of garlic. Repeatedly “stab” the roast, about 10-12 times, about two(2) inches deep and insert the garlic. Salt and pepper the roast to taste and sprinkle the remaining dry ingredients for the paste, covering the roast. Paying close attention to the ends as well.
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
4 1/2 lbs. pork shoulder roast
3 Serrano chillies, or to taste
1/2 cup fresh culantro, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup garlic rub/paste (recipe to follow)
1/8 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. oregano
light sprinkle/dusting/pinch of cinnamon
8 ounces green salsa
8 ounces mild salsa, or to taste
2 cups Spanish rice (Mahatma for example), cooked
1 small can re-fried pinto beans
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, Mexican blend
1 pack large flour tortillas
1 can (14.5 ounce) mild enchilada sauce, or to taste
For garlic rub:
extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 small shallot, diced
6-8 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
garlic salt to taste ( I prefer “Lawry’s” because the garlic is coarsely ground and it has parsley, too.)
fresh, coarsely ground black pepper to taste
1/4 tbsp. honey mustard
2 tbsp. salsa
4-5 tbsp. culantro
2-3 pinches of cumin
2-3 pinches of cinnamon
1-2 pinches of curry powder
2 tsp. oregano
1. Begin with the rub/paste, which can be prepared ahead and stored in the refrigerator a few days until needed. Add the ingredients into the food processor, EXCEPT for the olive oil. “Pulse” the contents several times and scrape down the sides before the next step.
2. With the olive oil in hand and the processor’s lid securely on, “blend” the ingredients while slowly adding the olive oil through the lid’s opening in the center. Add just enough to coagulate the dry ingredients without causing them to be runny. You want a firm consistency so the paste will adhere to the pork.
3. Layer the coarsely chopped onions into the bottom of your slow cooker. Gently apply the paste to the roast with your hands and place it into the crock pot on top of the bed of onions. Add the culantro. Pour the salsas over the pork roast. Sprinkle the cumin, culantro, curry powder, oregano, and cinnamon over the salsas. Drop the Serrano Chile peppers into the crock pot -around the pork.
4. Cook on low until the meat easily falls apart–about 9-9 1/2 hours. Gently remove the pork and allow to rest before shredding with a pair of forks… 20 minutes or so should be sufficient. If desired, strain and discard the solids, reserving the liquids for (a) reintroducing to the pork after shredding and (b) adding a tablespoon or two to the rice prior to cooking. Prepare rice according to package directions, substituting reserved liquid for margarine.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a large bowl, mix together cooked rice, 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese, about 5 cups of the shredded pork, 1/4 cup enchilada sauce, 2 or 3 tbsp. of the reserved liquid.
6. Spread 2 tbsp. re-fried beans down the center of flour tortilla. Add 1/3 cup of the meat/rice/cheese mixture and roll up. Place seam side down in a greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Repeat for each tortilla. Pour remaining enchilada sauce and spread remaining cheese over the top of tortillas.
7. Bake in oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
Sure, this recipe seems very long and complicated. I assure you that it is not and regardless of the length, these enchiladas are worth the sweat and tears! If you are not too keen on reinventing the leftovers, adjust the recipe to fit your needs.