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Spicy Pork

Ingredients:
  • 1 whole head garlic
  • salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons ground annatto (achiote)
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • juice of 1 Seville (bitter) orange, or 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 pounds shoulder of pork, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1-1/2 pounds sweet potatoes
Preparation:

1. Peel the garlic cloves and reduce them to a puree in an electric blender with the annatto, cumin, salt and pepper to taste, and vinegar. Put the pork pieces into a large bowl and pour the garlic marinade over them, mixing well. Marinate overnight in the refrigerator, covered. Strain, reserving the marinade. Pat the pork cubes dry with paper towels. Heat the lard or oil in a large skillet and saute the pork pieces until golden brown all over, transferring them to a casserole as they are done. Pour the reserved marinade over the pork, add the orange juice, cover, and cook over very low heat until the meat is tender, 1-1/2 to 2 hours. If the meat seems to be drying out, add a little water; 3 or 4 tablespoons will probably be enough. There should be very little gravy when the dish is finished.

2. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into slices about 3/4 inch thick. Cook in boiling salted water until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain.

3. To serve, heap the pork in the center of a large warmed platter and surround with the sweet potato slices moistened with a little of the meat gravy. White rice is another traditional accompaniment to this dish.

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