Every Night of the Week by Lucy Tweed (p. 148)

Serves 8

This is a slippery slide into a heavenly situation. Smoky, delicious and stringy.

Ingredients

1.5 kg (3 lb 5 oz) pork neck
16 tacos

Marinade

1 cup (250 ml) pineapple juice
1 cup (250 ml) barbecue sauce
3 tablespoons American mustard
1 onion, skin removed and quartered
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 cinnamon stick
1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and lightly crushed
1 tablespoon sea salt

Pickled pineapple

2 cups (500 ml) white vinegar
¾ cup (165 g) sugar
1½ tablespoons sea salt
3 cardamom pods, bruised
1 whole pineapple, peeled, cored if liked and thinly sliced

Slaw

3 cups (225 g) shredded cabbage
2 tablespoons kewpie mayonnaise
juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1 teaspoon sea salt

Optional ingredients

Thinly sliced red onion, coriander (cilantro) leaves and lime wedges

Method

  • Low and slow pork … all in the pot, lid on, set and forget. No browning.
  • Pineapple is sweetly pickled with some spices.
  • If you pre-shred the cabbage, pick the herbs, chop some chives and pack some soft tacos, you’ve got one killer bring-a-plate setup that will muscle over anyone else’s contribution.
  • I even took this stable of ponies camping!
  • Preheat the oven to 120°C (235°F).
  • Combine all the marinade ingredients in a heavy ovenproof dish with a lid. (I use a Dutch oven; you could also use a slow cooker, but I’m not really sure of the settings.)
  • Add the pork and turn to coat on all sides.
  • Place a piece of baking paper over the pork and press it down into the juices – this is like a face mask, keeping the whole thing moist while it cooks. Pop the lid on, place in the oven and cook gently for 6 hours.
  • Remove and allow to cool, then shred the meat with tongs and stir with all the juices, breaking up the garlic and onion as you go. You can discard harder spices, like the cinnamon stick.
  • The pork can be made ahead of time, and preheated to serve. You can do this in small batches in the microwave, checking and stirring often, or in a saucepan over medium–low heat, stirring occasionally.
  • For the pickled pineapple, combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, cardamom and 2 cups (500 ml) of water in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer, then allow to cool slightly.
  • Place the pineapple in a large airtight jar and pour the pickling liquid over the top. Seal and allow to pickle for at least an hour. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
  • To make the slaw, toss all the ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Warm the taco shells*.
  • Take all the components to the table and let everyone help themselves.

*A bit of a tip: I really don’t like the hard shells you can buy off the shelf ? they taste like stale corn chips to me. I choose the soft ones, give them a quick spray with oil and heat in the pan, then let them cool flopped over an old paper towel roll. DIY crispy tacos. Or just keep them soft.