This recipe is featured in Pupusas
Pupusas originated centuries ago with the Pipil people of El Salvador and were officially named the national dish in 2005. The name comes from the indigenous language Nahuat and can mean “stuffed” or “puffy.” In early days, pupusas were filled with beans, vegetables, blossoms and seafood, which are abundant in El Salvador. The conquering Spaniards contributed pork and cheese, making possible the pupusas we enjoy today.
- Servings Makes 2 to 4 servings
- 434 grams (1 pound) pork belly or boneless pork shoulder (with a good amount of fat on it) cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 garlic cloves, whole
- 2.5 ml (½ teaspoon) salt
- 30 ml (2 tablespoons) chopped onion
- 118 ml (½ cup) chopped tomato
- 30 ml (2 tablespoons) chopped green bell pepper
- 1.2 ml (¼ teaspoon) freshly ground black pepper
- 473 ml (2 cups) instant corn masa flour
- 473 ml (2 cups) Curtido*
- 473 ml (2 cups) House Tomato Sauce**
1. Rinse the pork in water. In a medium saucepan, over high heat, combine the pork, 473 ml (2 cups) cold water, garlic, and salt. Bring everything to a boil, and reduce heat to medium. Cook uncovered, stirring once in a while, until all the water has evaporated, about 30-45 minutes. Remove the garlic cloves from the saucepan and discard.
2. At this point, the pork pieces will begin to render their own fat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook the pork until golden and crispy, about 15 minutes. Remove chicharrones from the saucepan, set aside.
3. Over low heat, in the same saucepan and drippings, add the onion, stir and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the tomato, green bell pepper, black pepper, and the fried pork; combine well and correct the salt. Cover and cook everything for about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it cool.
4. Place this mixture in a food processor and grind until very fine, almost like a paste. Put on a plate, cover and use right away. It is important that the filling is at room temperature. If too cold, it will not spread evenly.
5. Place the corn masa flour in a shallow bowl. Mix in 473 ml (2 cups) of water, 237 ml (1 cup) at a time. Knead by hand for about 10 minutes until the masa is moist and fluffy. If needed, add more water, 30 ml (1 tablespoon) at a time.
6. Over medium to high heat, start heating a non-stick griddle or large heavy skillet. Have 237 ml (1 cup) of water ready to moisten your hands.
7. Divide the masa into 8 equal small balls. Hold one masa ball in the palm of your hand, push the center with your thumb and fingers to make a hole and fill it with about 30 ml (1 tablespoon) of chicharrón. Close the top by bringing the edges together.
8. Wet your hands, then gently press and pat the pupusa between your palms, keeping the edges thin. Flatten into a round about 8 cm (3 inches) in diameter and about .6 cm (¼ inch) thick. Do not worry if a bit of the filling comes out. Gently place the pupusas on the hot griddle, or skillet, and cook for about 6 minutes on each side. Turn over often to ensure even cooking. The pupusas are ready when they puff up and turn slightly golden. Serve with Curtido (pickled cabbage, onions, and carrots) and House Tomato Sauce.