You’ve got to try this recipe, period. Too proud of my creation you say? Yes! Well, I was really happy how these kabobs came out for a couple of good reasons.
First, I personally found out that this classic Portuguese marinade of piri-piri works better with pork rather than chicken. The strong flavors from the peppers and chilis, in my opinion, calls for a meat with more robust ‘meatiness’.
Second, I’ve used pork shoulder for these kabobs, even if my instincts told me to go for tenderloin while I was at the market shopping for ingredients. I guess I just wanted to prove to myself how great sous vide cooking really is – turning a relatively tough cut of meat, without much moisture due to low fat content, into something really moist, tender, and flavorful.
Let’s get started. This dish is really very simple to prepare. All you need is some cut of meat and a piri-piri marinade, which you should easily find at the market.
The marinade ain’t that hard to build from scratch either. Piri-piri is basically a marinade made from a variety of chili that goes by the same name. Honestly, I did not use piri-piri in this recipe due to unavailability. Well, any pepper, given its heat and smoky flavor should work as good substitutes I guess.
Get some red peppers charred over an open flame. Doing so will deepen that pepper flavor, and cause the tough outer skin to come off and peel easily.
After they’ve charred evenly all over, put them in a bowl and cover them with some plastic wrap for a few minutes. The trapped moisture in the bowl will make peeling these peppers easier.
Peel the peppers, discard the seeds, and get them into a blender with the red chilis, garlic, red onions, lemon juice, paprika, dried oregano, dried sage, black pepper, and some salt.
You could definitely tweak this marinade to your liking. Keeping the peppers and chili for that distinct piri-piri dish flavor, every other component in this marinade is replaceable. A good flavorful vinegar in place of the lemon juice would be a good start. Oregano and sage may be excellent herb choices for pork, but rosemary would be better for lamb.
Pour this flavor puree all over your pork and leave them to marinate overnight in the fridge. I would highly suggest to get them in a resealable bag now for much even coating, and so they’ll be ready to go sous vide the following day.
3 hours of cooking at 140F on your immersion circulator will be enough to get these pork pieces perfectly moist with just the right amount of chew. Going above 4 hours would break down the meat proteins too much giving them a texture much similar to tofu.
Get the pork out of the bag, thread them into skewers, and pat them dry. A bit of salt at this point would be good to round up those flavors too. Finish them off for just about a minute on a very hot grill and enjoy!
They’re fully cooked at this point, meaning, they’ll be perfectly safe for storing.