[Photograph: Sasha Marx]
Now that we are a few months into the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems like for most people the initial flurry of home-cooking activity hassubsided. But we still have to cook and eat, every day. One way to relieve some of the pressure of cooking so many meals at home is to embrace “batch” cooking, making things like big roasts, such as this slow-cooked pork shoulder, and then getting creative with the leftovers. Take this crispy pork hash as an example, which uses meat leftover from that roasted pork shoulder to produce a hearty crowd-pleaser that can be served any time of day, whether for a weekend breakfast or weeknight dinner.
Like cooking a pot of beans, a slow-roasted pork shoulder is a hands-off project that rewards you with a big flavor payoff. You can simply tear into the roast and pair it with a simple sauce like chimichurri or give it a full-feast treatment like this Thai-inspired roast pork spread. But you can also turn leftovers into easy offshoot recipes, similar to the way that a big batch of cooked white beans can be used in anything from a mapo-style stew to a tuna and white bean salad and a creamy white bean dip.
This crispy pork hash uses our preferred techniques for making great potato hash—par-cooking potatoes with vinegar to maximize internal tenderness and outer crispiness, as well as cooking all the components (potatoes, vegetables, and pork) separately so that they end up perfectly crisp rather than turning into a steamy, soggy mess. After charring asparagus and a serrano chili in a cast iron skillet, we crisp up leftover pulled roast pork shoulder in reserved rendered pork fat from the roast (hopefully you know not to throw out good pork fat, but if you did, you can use vegetable oil in its place). Once the pork takes on a carnitas-like crunch, we turn our attention to crisping the par-boiled potatoes before tossing them with ground coriander, chili powder, and cumin (this hash owes a great deal of inspiration to one of the all-time great taco filling combinations, chorizo and potato).
The vegetables and pork are added back to the skillet, and everything gets tossed together with any reserved drippings from the roast (once again proof of how much good flavor you can get out of one roast). Top the hash with scallions and cilantro, maybe a fried egg or two if you’re feeling the brunch vibe (it doesn’t need them though), and serve it up with warmed tortillas, fresh lime, and bright salsa verde. This hash is a leftover meal that is anything but a rehash.
Why It Works
- Par-boiling the potatoes gelatinizes starches so that they can crisp up better when the potatoes are subsequently fried.
- Cooking all ingredients—potatoes, pork shoulder, and vegetables—separately ensures that each component of the hash is perfectly cooked.
- Leftover roast pork shoulder can be easily repurposed and used in simple recipes like this one, avoiding the onset of leftovers palate fatigue.
- For the Hash:
- 1 1/2 pounds (675g) Yukon gold or russet potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch dice (see note)
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) distilled white vinegar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 10 ounces (285g) asparagus (about 1 bunch), woody ends trimmed
- 1 fresh serrano chili (about 10g)
- 1/4 cup (60ml) rendered pork fat from roast pork shoulder or vegetable oil, divided (see note)
- 12 ounces (340g) roast pork shoulder, pulled into 2-inch long pieces (see note)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- Reserved drippings from roast pork shoulder (optional)
- For Serving:
- Thinly sliced scallions and/or roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
- Fried eggs (optional)
- Warmed corn or flour tortillas (optional)
- Lime wedges
- Homemade or store-bought salsa verde (optional)
For the Hash: Place potatoes in a 3-quart saucepan and cover with 2 quarts cold water. Add vinegar and 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook until barely tender, about 7 minutes after coming to a boil. Drain potatoes in a colander, then set aside.
Meanwhile, heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat for 5 minutes. Add asparagus and serrano to the pan and arrange in a single layer. Cook, turning occasionally until asparagus and serrano are charred all over and asparagus is just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes for thin spears, 5 to 8 minutes for thick spears. Carefully add 1 teaspoon (5ml) pork fat (or vegetable oil) to the skillet, toss to coat vegetables, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Transfer vegetables to cutting board. Once vegetables are cool enough to handle, cut asparagus into 2-inch pieces and de-seed and finely mince the serrano. Set aside.
Wipe out skillet, return it to stovetop, and lower heat to medium. Add 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons (25ml) pork fat (or vegetable oil) and pulled roast pork shoulder to now-empty skillet, and arrange pork in a single layer. Season lightly with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until pork is golden brown and crisp on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pork to a plate and set aside.
Add remaining 2 tablespoons (30ml) pork fat (or vegetable oil) to skillet and increase heat to medium-high. Add potatoes and arrange in as even a single layer as possible. Season lightly with salt, and cook, stirring and tossing occasionally, until potatoes are deep brown and crisp on all sides, about 20 minutes. Add coriander, chili powder, and cumin and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Return pork, asparagus, and serrano to the skillet, along with any drippings reserved from roast pork shoulder (if you have saved them), toss to combine, and continue to cook until all components are heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
For Serving: Sprinkle scallions and/or cilantro over the hash, and top with fried eggs (if using). Serve right away, passing warmed tortillas (if using), lime, and salsa verde at the table.
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