For Silver Iocovozzi, chef of Neng Jr.’s in Asheville, North Carolina, this pork Inasal is the perfect example of Appalachian cooking, which, they say, is all about “making what you can from the bounty of the land and the pantry, applying ideas new and old, to create something nourishing.” The flavors of this slow-cooked pork shoulder are a loving homage to Iocovozzi’s childhood memories, trips to the Philippines, and the BBQ traditions of the American South.
Store-bought fried onions and garlic are decimated to a powder along with toasted rice, forming an especially dark and delicious crust around the pork, reminiscent of the bark on smoked meats. While Iocovozzi prefers black rice for its faintly nutty flavor, regular or glutinous white rice will work as well. Apple cider vinegar can stand in place of the coconut vinegar, but the beguiling fruitiness of the latter makes a strong case for stocking it in your pantry. Look for Silver Swan brand.