Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Pork Carnitas

I have recently come to a startling realization. I freaking LOVE tacos. Love them. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, considering the volume of taco recipes I’ve already posted. But damn! Aren’t they just the perfect little delivery systems for delicious meat and some kind of slaw or salsa or cheese? I mean, I’m hard pressed (unless we’re talking beans) to find something that wouldn’t be delicious in a taco. And here I go again with yet another taco recipe. The photo on Jo Cooks of this beautiful pork made my mouth water, and made my brain say, “Tacos!” To be honest, the pork itself, while deliciously porky, did not have as deep a flavor as I would have liked. I wish it was a little more spicy, a little more salty, a little more… something. But, it was still damn good, and more than worthy of hopping up in a tasty taco. I served this one with my Southwest Slaw which never fails to put a smile on my taco-loving face.

4 lb pork shoulder or pork butt, trim fat if too much fat
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
2 bay leaves
1 tsp chili pepper flakes
1 tsp dried oregano
1 onion, peeled and halved
Juice of one lime
1 medium orange, juiced and keep the spent halves
2 cups water

Start by butchering your meat, trimming off excess fat and cutting it up into 2 inch chunks. Put the meat into a dutch oven or cast iron pot along with all the spices, onion halves, lime juice, orange juice, and spent orange halves. Then pour the water over everything and bring to a boil. Once it boils, move the pot to your oven at 300 degrees for about 2 hours. It should be extremely fork tender.

After the two hours, remove the meat from the pot and set it aside. Also remove the onion, orange halves and bay leaves from the pot and discard them. Cook the liquid in the pot over medium high heat until it reduces to about a cup of liquid. I don’t think we reduced ours long enough which may have affected the flavor.

While that reduces, shred your meat, and then place it on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Don’t do this step in reverse or you’ll end up shredding your foil. Once the liquid has reduced, pour it all over your meat. Then broil the meat for about 5 to 10 minutes, until it gets nice and browned and maybe even a little crispy. Use a spatula to flip it over and broil the other side for another 5 minutes. Once it’s looking nice and tasty, pop it out of the oven and pop it right into a taco! You could always use the meat for a sandwich or burrito if you want, but in my book, the taco is your best bet. 

1 comment:

  1. add another half tsp of salt and cut up a habanero in the the broth and this is golden.