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Treat your family this Christmas to a mouth watering dish. This Pork Shoulder in Tamarind Sauce is a juicy, sweet and sour, delight. Serve with colorful, roasted veggies and warm bread.
This pork shoulder in Tamarind Sauce recipe is part of a sponsored collaboration with the National Pork Board and Dime Media. As always, my comments, opinions, and love for Holiday cooking are my own.
I love preparing delicious meals for my family and friends during the holidays. I look forward to the chance to gather together, cook, laugh, and tell stories. And of course, I always enjoy watching their faces as they inhale the aromas of a delicious meal straight out of the oven. It’s priceless.
These are just some of the reasons I’m nuts about the Holiday season.
To make it all work, though, preparation is everything. So I recently went to the supermarket to purchase something good and I found a nice pork shoulder. Pork has always been a holiday family favorite, it’s versatile, easy-to-prepare, easy to find, and affordable.
When I arrived home from the supermarket, I went straight to my pantry to see what I had and what I could use. I saw a bag of tamarind and knew immediately what to do.
Popular in Mexico, parts of Latin America, and Asia, tamarind can be used in all sorts of dishes. Its pulp is acidic, sweet, and sour, which makes it very versatile, ideal for both sweet and savory dishes from desserts, to this pork dish, to aguas frescas.
Tamarind comes in pods as you can see in the photo below.
The pods have large seeds and a few strands, and to get to the pulp, the tamarind needs to be boiled in water and sugar. You can find it in any Mexican market. If you live in the United States, look for it in the Latin spices section in the supermarket. Sometimes you can find it in a big cellophane bag, and in some stores you can buy it loose by the pound.
Ready? Here is the step by step recipe.
Pork Shoulder in Tamarind Sauce
Prep time: 20 minutes
Start to finish: 2 hr, 45 minutes approx.
- 4 lb pork shoulder (approx 2 kg)
- 2 tablespoons garlic salt
- Pepper to taste
- 14-16 oz fresh tamarind (approx 1/2 kg), peeled
- 1- 8 oz piloncillo (approx 225 gr) *
- 2 cups of water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
* You can find piloncillo in Mexican markets, it looks like brown sugar in the shape of a cone. You can substitute 3/4 cup brown sugar.
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F.
1. Season pork shoulder with garlic salt and pepper to taste. Place in a baking pot and bake for 30 minutos at 450 degrees F.
2. In a pot combine tamarind, piloncillo and water. Cover and let it boil at medium-high heat for 20 minutes. Let it cool down for 5 minutes and strain the pulp, you can do this by pushing with a spoon or with your clean hands. You will end with a bunch of big seeds, tamarind threads and big chunks in the colander.
3. Heat oil in a pan, add garlic, onion and jalapeños. Sauté for 3 minutes. Add vinegar and tamarind pulp. Stir and cook for 3 more minutes. Pour mixture in a food processor and blend until smooth.
4. After the 30 minutes. Carefully take the pork out of the oven and cover with the tamarind sauce**. Return to oven, lower the temperature to 350 degrees F, and bake for 1.5 more hours or until the interior temperature of the pork reaches between 145-150 degrees F.
5. Carefully remove from the oven, cover with aluminum foil, and let it rest for 15 minutes. This rest is paramount, please don’t skip it. It keeps juices inside and allows the meat to cook completely (mine went from 150 to 160 during the rest.
** You may end up with extra sauce. If this is the case, mix it with the juices from the baking pan, warm it up an serve with the meat.
I invite you to prepare a succulent dish for the holidays, either for Las Posadas, Navidad, New Years, or Día de Reyes, you decide! Do you need more inspiration? Visit PorkTeInspira.com (in Spanish) for more recipes, cooking ideas, products, party hosting and more. And follow #ElSaborDeHoy in social media for even more recipes with flavorful pork.