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Twice cooked pork or pork griot, Haitian meat dish, is truly fantastic. Pork shoulder, not too lean but with no gristly or tendony bits, cut in oversized dice is slow cooked in the oven with the hottest chilies and, uncommonly, four kinds of acid. It’s then drained and fried crisp in a pan while the cooking liquid makes gravy to die for. It’s better than any pulled pork and completely worth the additional frying pan washing up.
This is also the dish to overcome anyone’s innate aversion to reheated food, and I know many suffer from that phobia. Leftovers, scraps, slop, dregs – these are not complementary words. Opposite of ‘freshly cooked’; it’s been standing around and then reheated; day-old; stale; refried: if you read those words in restaurants’ reviews, you stay well clear. And yet if it’s done on purpose, the results can be amazing: triple cooked chips for one, arancini balls for another. Some dishes gain flavour when reheated, like cassoulet or chilli; and find me tastier morsels than refried beans or pasta fritta.
The griot is probably as versatile as any casserole with different flavours created every time you cook it, by adding mushrooms instead of chilli, carrots instead of peppers etc. The acid, I’m guessing, is a constant ingredient so it keeps the meat from disintegrating in the long cooking. I trust Melissa Clark’s recipes so did not veer from her instructions on NYTimes Cooking. But next time I’ll certainly freewheel. Because there will be many next times for sure.
pork griotServings: 4Time: 3 hours plus overnight marinating
- 1 small Scotch bonnet or 4-5 birds eye chilies
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 small green bell pepper, diced
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced
- ½ bunch fresh parsley, chopped, keep the other half for garnish
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. coarsely ground black pepper
- 60ml (1/4 cup) cider vinegar
- juice of 1 orange
- juice of 1 lemon
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 ½ kg (3 pounds) pork shoulder, not too lean, cut into 4cm (1 1/2-inch) dice
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
If using the Scotch bonnet chilli, wear gloves; it’s deadly. De-seed it and chop a quarter of it finely; leave the other quarters intact. If using birds eye chilies, chop 2 of them finely and pierce the others keeping them whole.
Place the chilies, onion, peppers, herbs and garlic in a large ovenproof casserole. Add the salt and pepper, stir in the vinegar, juices and Worcester sauce. Add the diced pork and stir well. Cover and marinate overnight in the fridge.
The next day take it out and bring to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/gas 3. Over high heat bring the casserole up to a simmer, transfer to the oven and bake for 2 hours. Stir the meat occasionally. The liquid shouldn’t all evaporate button up with a little water if it should threaten to do so.
If you have time, let the pot stand in the switched off oven for half an hour or so. Remove the meat onto a plate with a slotted spoon and strain the sauce into a small saucepan. Bring it to the boil and reduce to thicken, for about 10 minutes, depending how much liquid there was.
Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan. Shake the meat chunks off remaining liquid and any herbs clinging to them, and fry on all sides until crisp and browned. Remove onto serving plates using tongs, garnish with extra parsley and drizzle with the sauce.
Serve with pickles, plain rice or warmed up tortillas or flatbreads.