Pupusas have been on our blog to do list for awhile but I always thought they were difficult and time consuming (a la our 7 hour tamales) so I kept putting them off. Then, a pupusa dinner was in our recent Blue Apron order and I discovered that pupusas actually only take about 30 minutes and are endlessly versatile. A pupusa is a traditional Salvadoran dish made of a thick, handmade corn tortilla made using masa…then the masa mixture is filled with cheese, meat, beans, vegetables…whatever you want! We filled ours with a delectable slow cooked mexican pulled pork and melty mozzarella cheese. Each pupusa is then cooked in a skillet for about 8 minutes and…voila! Pupusas are traditionally served with a cabbage mixture (that we found suspiciously similar to American coleslaw) called Curtido. The Curtido provides a light and tart contrast to the rich pupusas and your Salvadoran experience is complete.
This was a delicious wine! It was one of those wines that tastes expensive while actually being $10.99. It was deep and rich to complement the pork but also tart and lightly acidic to balance the richness of the cheese. The dominant flavors were black cherry and mulberry and this wine would go perfectly with many red meat, poultry or Mexican dishes…I’ll buy it again!
Beerito was a nice Mexican inspired lager with very malt forward flavors balanced by slight crisp hops. This type of beer is excellent for Hispanic or Asian cuisine since the malt counteracts spicy flavors while the light body helps to wash down rich, flavorful meals… perfect for our pupusas!
Pulled Pork Pupusas:
Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork
Based on this recipe.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 8-10 hours
4 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Scant pinch of ground cloves
4-5 pound boneless pork shoulder roast
1. Make the spice rub by whisking together all rub ingredients in a small bowl.
2. Pat the roast dry with paper towels. Rub the spice mix all over the roast getting into all the nooks and crannies. Let sit at room temperature at least one hour or wrap in plastic wrap and chill overnight.
3. Put in slow cooker, cook on low: Place the roast in a slow cooker, and add any reserved spice rub. Cook on the low setting for 6 to 10 hours, until the pork is fall apart tender.
4. Remove the roast from the slow cooker and place in a roasting pan. Cut into large chunks. Then use two forks to pull the meat apart into bite sized shreds. Spook some of the juices from the slow cooker over the pork so that the meat stays nice and juicy.
Salvadoran Pupusas con Curtido
Based on this recipe.
Makes 8 pupusas
For the curtido (makes about 4 cups):
1/2 head cabbage, shredded (I used a mix of green and red cabbage)
1 large carrot, grated
1/2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
For the pupusas:
2 cups masa harina
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cup warm water
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
First, make the curtido: Combine the cabbage, carrot, and onion in a large bowl. Combine the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl and then pour over the cabbage mixture and stir. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and preferably at least a day before serving.
Make the pupusas: Combine the masa harina, salt, and water in a mixing bowl. Knead to form a smooth, moist dough with a play dough-like consistency. If the mixture is too dry, add more water, one teaspoon at a time. If the mixture is too sticky, add more masa harina, one teaspoon at a time. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and let stand for 10 minutes.
With lightly oiled hands, form the dough into 8 balls about 2 inches in diameter. Using your thumb, make an indentation into one of the balls, forming a small cup. Fill the cup with 1 tablespoon of cheese and wrap the dough around the filling to seal it. Making sure that the filling does not leak, pat the dough back and forth between your hands to form a round disk about 1/4-inch thick. Repeat with the remaining balls.
Heat a lightly oiled skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the pupusas for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until golden brown. Serve while still warm with curtido on the side.