Less than a year ago I had never even known what a pupusas was. Insert my great friend Lindsey to help educate my poor pupusaless soul! Aside from her bring my Zumba wife, she is also my partner in crime, and bachelor watching comrade. She also loves food as much as I do but doesn't cook. I'm ok with that because I can cook and she can tell me how awesome I am. She also does the dishes like a champ! I HATE doing dishes after I have cooked! The perfect partnership!
Probably about 4ish months ago, she drove me about an hour out of town to try her favorite food called Pupusas. I was pretty sure she said Poop on Us... never heard of it before but I am always up for a new culinary adventure. We walked into this junky little Salvadorian hole in the wall and ordered our food. Basically pupusas are a hybrid of a tamale and a quesadilla. They are yummy! They are served up with a cabbage slaw. These humble little corn flour happiness disks are pretty damn tasty. After this food adventure, Lindsey demanded that I make these for her. No pretty please. Just gimme the pupusas. It took a bit of time but I decided that I was going to kill a few birds with one stone.
I have a small fear of pressure cookers. They freak me out. Cooking something in a pressurized vessel is weird. The fact that I can't check on what I am cooking isn't cool either. But carpe diem bitches. I am smarter than the appliances in my kitchen. I run them and not the other way around. So I figured I could cook the meat in the pressure cooker and get my food requests out of the way.
My first official stab at my pressure cooker!
Browning meat like a champ!
At this point you take the meat out... put it on a rack with onion and garlic and 4 cups of water. Put the top on and start pressure cooking.
This is the tomato mixture that would be added to the shredded meat to make our blended meat paste. **If you look up other pupusas recipes they say just to shred your meat but I have been told that it needs to be blended. I used my immersion blender for this and it worked out very well!
Then you poke a hole in the ball and fill it with goop. We had meat paste, refried beans, and cheese.
Then find a handy dandy kitchen assistant to flatten the balls into patties.
Grill away... the left side are ones that haven been flipped and the right 6 have been flipped.
Make sure to make the coleslaw! It really makes the difference!
Now for the recipe. This from start to finish took about 6 hours with about an hour break in the middle. So make a big batch and freeze the extra. I ended up shredding the pork and saving half in the fridge for dinner the next night and then blending the rest and I still had about half of the blended pupusas meat left which I froze for the next pupusas night.
1 bag shredded cabbage mix (the one with carrots and purple cabbage)
1 bag shredded purple cabbage
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 bunch cilantro, washed and finely chopped
Combine cabbages, onion and cilantro in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix remaining ingredients until sugar and salt are dissolved. Pour liquid over cabbage and place in the fridge. Leave in the fridge for at LEAST 1 hour. We ate ours after about 4 hours and it was perfect!
8 qt pressure cooker
2 tablespoons oil
4.5 lb pork shoulder
2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon each chili, cumin, coriander, garlic
4 cups of water (6 if not using a pressure cooker)
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon each of oregano and cinnamon
First, in a small bowl add salt, pepper, chili, cumin, coriander, and powdered garlic. Mix until evenly distributed. Season your meat with half of your spice mixture. Then turn on your burner to high and add oil to the bottom of the pan. When the pan is hot, brown your meat on all sides. Once complete remove your meat and add your pressure cooker rack if you have one. Then lay your onion and two garlic cloves on the bottom of the rack. Season your meat with the remaining spices and return the browned meat to the pressure cooker. Add the water. Seal the pressure cooker according to directions. Bring your pressure cooker up to high and then lower the heat until you get a gentle amount of steam coming out of the pressure cooker. Once this is achieved, cook at this level for 55-57 minutes. (we are cooking at high altitude so we have to cook on the high side of times.). If you don't have a pressure cooker you can still make this meat. Just follow all of the steps, and when you turn your burner on get your water to a low simmer and put your lid on. The meat should cook within about 3 hours. (You could also do this in your slow cooker)
Once your hour cooking time is up in the pressure cooker, let the pressure cooker loose pressure naturally.
While this is happening, grab a blender and add the diced tomatoes, onion, remaining garlic, oregano and cinnamon. Purée in a blender. Set aside.
Once your pressure cooker has lost it's pressure and is safe to open, you can remove the meat from the liquid and shred into a bowl. **I took half of my meat at this point and saved it in the fridge for BBQ pork!**
Take half of the meat and add about 2/3rds of the tomato mixture. Blend until you have a sticky meat paste. You are now ready!
7 cups masa harina
4 1/2 cup warm water
2 teaspoon salt
In a bowl, mi the masa and the water together. Let sit for a half hour. Stir in about a 1/2 cup of cold water and the dough should become soft and not sticky. Shape into golf ball size balls. I used two cookie scoops to make 1 ball! Set formed balls under a damp towel as you go!
1 can refried beans
1 package cotija cheese or mozzarella
ASSEMBLY TIME* See pictures earlier
Grab a ball of dough and poke a hole in the middle. Stuff with a bit of fillings (any combination of beans, meat, and cheese) and then roll the dough over the fillings. You hopefully wont see the filling. Carefully with oiled hands start to carefully flatten the dough between your hands. Once a thin disk has formed, you can cook on a hot grill. I used my pancake griddle set to 400 degrees, make to grease your griddle. Each side takes up to 4-6 minutes. Flip when one side is browned and crispy on the bottom.
At this point you are ready to serve. I served mine with the slaw, guacamole, and Pico de Gallo!
Needless to say Lindsey was VERY happy with my results. She has decided to keep me as her friend! They were delicious! These are very time consuming but totally worth it. Especially because both Lindsey I have about 15 in the freezer!
© Kim Bohme and A Bohme Cooked Meal