During a blustery snow storm in NY while under the weight of snowfall, trees in Central Park were falling onto buses, I was thinking of limes. Weather like that called for hearty meals, but I kept veering towards lighter dishes. Perhaps it was my unwillingness to put on those compulsory winter pounds that prevented me from sitting down and eating a bowl full of garlic mashed potatoes or a filling beef stew. I made Pulled Pork tacos instead and served them at a party for ravenous people. —NakedBeet
Test Kitchen Notes
What a brilliant recipe! The citrus, tamarind, garlic and herb marinade subtly flavors the meat, then becomes a delicious sauce for moist, tender meat that's not at all fatty. (The pork was so delicious, in fact, that we did not stir the sauce back in, but instead used it to jazz up our cranberry beans.) I recommend using less salt than called for; with just one teaspoon (for a 2.3 pound roast), the sauce was a bit too salty for me. I plan to use this marinade/sauce with pan-roasted butterflied chicken, we like it so much. Mr. T and I give this an enthusiastic FOUR thumbs up!
- AntoniaJames —The Editors
To make the tamarind liquid, mix 3 tbsp of tamarind paste with 1/3 cup of boiled water. Using the back of a spoon or a fork, mash the paste into the water until you get most of the tamarind pulp distributed in the water. Strain and reserve this liquid.
In a large bowl big enough for the pork shoulder stir the orange juice, lime juice, tamarind liquid, garlic and all the spices. Cut your pork shoulder into 3 large chunks, trimming off as much or as little of the excess fat. Place your pork into the bowl with the marinade and briefly massage the orange marinade over each side and piece of the pork. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Once your pork is marinated, preheat your oven to 350º and pat dry all the pieces of pork. Boil the reserved marinade for a few minutes and save for later. In a dutch oven, brown all the pieces on each side. Cover the pot and cook the pork in the oven for 2 1/2 hours or until the pieces are fork tender and begin to fall apart if you pull at them gently. More fat will have drained from the pork and you can remove some of this, but you'll want to leave in most to keep the shredded pork moist.
Place your dutch oven over the stovetop and on low heat start shredding the pork. You can add some of the reserved marinade liquid to the pork as you shred it.
Optional side garnishes to serve alongside pulled pork and warm corn tortillas: diced and deseeded jalapeno, white onion diced, chopped cilantro, fresh lime quarters, habanero sauce, more tamarind liquid, or more orange marinade. If you make this ahead of time, you can reheat the pulled pork covered in the oven on the lowest heat to keep it warm. Serve over warm corn tortillas and any (or all!) of the side garnishes.