Yesterday, I spent most of the day cooking up some Cochinita Pibil. Never having done it before, I followed the recipe rather closely. Here's the thing with any dish that centers on a pork shoulder... it makes alot of food. Leftovers are gonna happen. I decided to go breakfast with it (meaning I put an egg on it and called it breakfast).
Playing around with it, it seemed like it would make a good ragu. It already was broken down and with just a little heat it would break down further. Perfect ragu territory. Instead of a, for lack of a better term, regular pasta I thought couscous would be cool. Also, it was all I had in the pasta family laying around.
1 cup pearl couscous
1/2 a white onion, diced
1 orange, juiced
1 lime, juiced
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
2 cups leftover Cochinita Pibil
1 lime, juiced
3 green onions, diced
3 tbsp cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp sharp cheddar
salt and pepper to taste
Make the sauce. Put the onion, orange juice, lime juice, salt and sugar in a bowl. Give it a good stir. Set it aside. It gets the job done in about 10 minutes. But, the longer it sits the deeper the flavor. So, maybe take a minute to make a cup of coffee. Gather up your supplies. Figure out what you're doing later. Try to remember why you're standing in the kitchen. Bring up the recent election to the person nearest you. Something that'll kill at least 10 minutes. And longer is all good (Safety Tip: give the passion level around the election, this could trigger a 4 hour shouting match followed by a day of seething followed by the dissolution of your family...so use it only if you can't think of anything else to do to kill a little time).
Caffeinated? Got your ingredients together. Perfect. Let's get to the cookin'...
Bring a small pot of 1 1/4 cup of water to a boil, toss in a little salt, dump in the couscous, lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and let it ride.
Get a skillet over medium heat and give it a small glug of olive oil. There's plenty of oil from the fat in the pork so if you use a non-stick skillet you really don't need much olive oil. Drop the meat in.
Ravigote, loosely, means "reinvigorate". Or, you know, wake up. We wake it up with the juice of a 1/2 a lime (we're going to use the other half and some of our pickled onion sauce to finish the job). If you don't have limes laying around, lemons will work fine. I think the limes work better with the flavors in the meat...the sourness of the lime punches back against the pork pretty nicely. As always, a recipe is a guide, not a law. If you don't have limes or lemons laying around, go with a white wine vinegar (or a champagne vinegar). Just get some acid in it without overwhelming it. Give it a stir. Let the lime juice work in.
After a couple of minutes add a 2-3 tbsp of the pickled onion mix. I used a white onion for this because I happened to have both white and red, and white has a little more bite. Give that a good stir and let it all hang out together.
While that's going on, chop the green onion and the cilantro. Use EXACTLY three green onions and EXACTLY three tablespoons of chopped cilantro. Because that's exactly as much of each as I had on hand. So, really, use as much or as little of each as you want. Toss the white parts of the onion into the skillet and let it hangout and start to soften and mellow a bit. You've got some cool flavors going in there. Lower the heat to medium low and let the flavors get to know each other. We'll come back for the green parts of the onion and the cilantro in a minute.
Get a small skillet over medium-low to low heat. We're going to fry up the eggs. I will let you battle with yourself on the choice between olive oil and butter. Since I'd already used olive oil in the other skillet I went with it again...and I prefer olive oil. But they're both really good so, whatever works for you. Anyone from northern France up will insist on butter. South of there will tell you its olive oil and butter is abomination. This is more reflective of historical conflicts than any real merit based argument. Do you. It's all good.
Get both eggs in the skillet, hit them with a little salt and pepper, let them go.
The ragu should be heated through and bubbling away contentedly at this point and the couscous ready to ride. Remove the ragu from the heat, and gently stir in the rest of the green onion and the cilantro. The heat of the ragu will wilt them a little. Grab two plates, split the couscous between them and follow with splitting the ragu. While waiting for the egg to finish, quickly grate some cheddar over the top of each plate. However much works for you. Plop one egg down on top of each plate and use the remaining 1/2 lime to drizzle a little juice over the top of each.