WILD BOAR COCHINITA PIBIL GORDITAS
The gorditas (little fat ones) are crispy masa pockets with a soft textured interior. They are perfect to vessel to hold just about any of your braised wild game. Serve alongside some smoky cowboy beans topped with queso fresco, and you have yourself the ultimate comfort sandwich meal.
Serves 4-5 people
For the Pork
1 boneless wild boar shoulder cut into 3 inch wide strips
1 package banana leaves or parchment paper
4 cups chicken or pork stock
2 heads of fresh garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (preferably Mexican)
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon back pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground allspice
5 tablespoon ground achiote
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon salt
For the Gorditas
1 3/4 cups masa harina mixed with one cup plus 2 tablespoons water
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups of cooking oil for frying the gorditas
STEP ONE: Make the seasoning paste, marinate and cook pork
Pre-heat your oven to 330 degrees F.
Combine all of the ingredients for the pork except the pork and banana leaves and stock into a blender. Blend until the mixture is very smooth. If it is still gritty, let the mixture sit for around 30 minutes to soften and blend again until smooth. If is too thick, thin out a little with water or more lime/orange juice mixture.
Rub the pork but all over with the seasoning paste. Cover tightly and marinate at least 4 hours or up to overnight for maximum flavor.
Line a roasting pan with enough banana leaves to cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Place the marinated pork and any juices in the middle of the roasting pan. Cover the pork with more banana leaves, tucking them underneath to make a enclosed pork package. Pour the stock around the packaged meat and cover tightly with a lid or foil. Bake for around 3 hours or until the pork easily shreds with fork. Once the pork is finished, cover and keep warm while you make the gorditas.
STEP TWO: Make the gorditas
Heat a heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. Make sure your masa dough is pliable and the texture of soft cookie dough. Adding in a little water if needed. Knead in the flour, baking powder and salt. Divide the dough into 10 equal sized balls of dough. Cover the balls with a damp cloth to keep them from drying out. Using a tortilla press lined with plastic wrap or a rolling pen, flatten the masa balls into about 4 inch circles that are around 1/4 inch thick.
Working in batches, cook the gorditas on each side for around 2 minutes. The will be lightly browned on both sides, yet uncooked on the sides and in the middle. Set them aside and prepare to fry them.
In a high sided frying pan, add enough oil to achieve 2 inches in depth. Heat the oil over medium to medium high heat to a temperature of 350 degrees F. Working in batches, fry the gorditas on each side for around 15-20 seconds. The will puff up and resemble pita bread.
FINAL STEP: Assemble the Gorditas
Starting on the thin side, cut a slit down the middle of the gorditas about 1/2 way making a pocket. Stuff the gorditas with the shredded meat and any other topping that you like. I like to use queso fresco, pickled onions and a crunchy cabbage slaw.
If you're wanting a little extra heat and flavor, I like adding in a couple of chopped garlic cloves and fresh hot chilies to the pork when its time to marinate.
To make things easier, you can cook the meat in a slow cooker.
The marinade can be made up to 1 week in advance. The pork can be marinated the day prior to cooking. And the pork can be cooked and refrigerated the day before serving.