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Dairy-Free Pulled Pork Belly Cemitas

After being diagnosed with lactose intolerance, Katy Salter, a food writer, editor and blogger decided to re-imagine her favorite dishes without skimping on the flavor. Thankfully, she is sharing her dairy-free recipes in her first book, "Dairy-Free Delicious." She writes, "The cemita is a sandwich from Mexico's Puebla region. In its classic form, avocado, meat (beef or pork) and panela cheese, and perhaps a little salsa roja, are crammed into a seeded egg roll. With a little tinkering I've made a dairy-free version with extra flavor courtesy of pulled pork belly, shards of crackling and a little chipotle.

RECIPE: Pulled Pork Belly Cemitas

Yields: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

For the pulled pork belly:

  • 1 3/ 4 pounds pork belly joint
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon soft brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle paste

For the cemitas:

  • 2 avocados
  • 4 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 4 seeded burger buns (check the ingredients to make sure they are dairy-free)
  • A few sprigs of fresh papalo (Mexican herb) or cilantro leaves
  • Sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Pat the pork belly dry with paper towels and score the skin using a sharp paring knife. Rub the oil into the skin and then rub half of the salt and sugar in. Turn the pork belly over and rub the rest of the salt and sugar into the other side of the meat.
  3. Place the pork belly skin side up in a roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 300°F and cook for another 3 1/ 2 hours. Remove from the oven and pull the meat away from the skin. It should be soft and come away easily in shreds; set aside.
  4. Increase the oven temperature back up to 400°F and return the pork skin to the oven in the roasting pan. Roast until you have crispy crackling, for about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly, then use a sharp knife to cut it into small pieces. Stir the chipotle paste into the shredded pork.
  5. Mash the avocados with the lime juice and garlic, and season with a little salt. Slice and lightly broil or toast the buns.
  6. To assemble, spread a generous amount of mashed avocado on the bottom half of each bun and just a little on the top. Arrange the pulled pork on top and sprinkle with a few pieces of crackling. Top with papalo or cilantro, then with the other half of the bun.

Excerpted from "Dairy-Free Delicious" by Katy Salter (The Countryman Press). Copyright © 2016. Photographs by Laura Edwards. Available on Amazon.

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