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Burrito bowls, smoothie bowls, Buddha bowls... I suppose it's because there's something somehow more comforting and indulgent spooning food out of a bowl rather than from a plate.
What would you put in a fajita bowl? Chicken? Beef? Pulled pork? All these are brilliant options, but I decided to do something a bit different and use pork shank.
It's not a cut you find often at the supermarket, or even at the display at the butcher (unless you ask for it specially) - but pork shank is quite cheap and tasty. Because it's a group of muscles that are well-used on the animal, it benefits from a slow roasting in a lowish oven. You get incredible crackling, and soft, pull-apart meat underneath. It's sweet and full-flavoured, too. Better than a pork chop, any day, as long as you're prepared to wait for it (and, if it looks like this, why ever wouldn't you?).
Farmer's Choice very kindly sent me the pork shank to use in this recipe - a big, bone-in, 800g hunk of meat. It's roasted very simply - just with oil and salt - for three hours. I've shredded it up with lots of veggies. I haven't added cooked rice, although you could if you wanted to - but jazzed it all up with baby plum tomatoes, orange and red peppers, little gem lettuce and an avocado cream, which sounds like something you'd order at a gastropub but is basically a dressing made from avocado, lime and coriander leaf (cilantro).
If you're eating AIP or otherwise avoiding nightshade veggies, then switch out the peppers and tomatoes and add some chopped (raw or roasted) radishes instead, and perhaps some beetroot slices.
So much goodness.
I hope you love it. I did.
Pork Shank Fajita Bowl with Avocado Lime Cream
800g pork shank, defrosted if frozen
1 tbsp oil (I used avocado oil, but you could use flavourless (mild) coconut oil or olive oil)
pinch of salt
2 sweet peppers - I used one red and one orange
9-12 baby plum tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes)
3 little gem lettuces
3 avocados, ripe and ready to eat
For the avocado cream:
1 avocado, peeled and de-stoned
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lime
1 large bunch of fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)
1 small handful fresh parsley
pinch of salt
2-3 tbsp fresh, cold water
First, get your pork shank on to cook. Put the oven on to gas mark 4/350ºF/180ºC and get out a shallow roasting dish or tin. Place the pork shank into the dish and pat the skin dry with a piece of kitchen towel. Drizzle with the oil and then sprinkle over the salt. Slide into the oven and cook for around 3 hours, until the meat is sizzling and the skin is crisp. Take out, turn off the oven and leave to rest while you make the rest of the ingredients.
Wash, de-seed and trim the peppers and slice into strips. Heat a little of the oil in a frying pan and quickly fry them until just softened and beginning to burnish very slightly. Turn off the heat.
Quickly wash and chop the other ingredients - the lettuce, tomatoes - and peel and de-stone the avocados. Arrange the salad in a shallow, wide bowl and slice an avocado half for each person. Add the fried peppers and the fresh tomatoes.
Next, make the dressing. Combine the dressing ingredients in a blender (this is the one I use) and blend until smooth and spoonable. Add a touch more water if you feel the dressing is a bit too stiff.
Finally place the pork shank on a board and chop the meat into chunks, serving with the salad and the avocado cream. Garnish, if you like, with fresh parsley or coriander leaves.
This post was supported by Farmer's Choice. They're an online butcher, providing fish, seafood and free range meat and game to your door. I've been cooking with their products for over a year and have always found them to be of great quality. Do go check them out.
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