Carnitas


Carnitas - braised pork tacos with white onion, tomato, cilantro, avocado, lime, hot sauce

Carnitas – braised pork tacos with white onion, tomato, cilantro, avocado, lime, hot sauce

I bought a 5 pound pork shoulder last week and have trying to think what to make. I love pork because of its versatility, you can give it any kind of flavoring, and cook it multiple ways.

In the kitchen, I would make 50-100 pounds of roast pork in a day. I would cover the pork shoulders in a dry rub of brown sugar, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne, onion powder, a ton of salt and pepper. Then cover it with mustard and ketchup (Weird I know, but a delish tip from Daryl – Thanks Daryl!). Cover the whole lot of them in chicken stock and let them braise for 6 hours. The result, the most delicious, decadent.. salty, fatty pulled pork.

Today I am trying something different, I’m cutting the cooking time by 1/2 by cutting the meat smaller, and boiling, then roasting it.

Carnitas - braised pork tacos with white onion, tomato, cilantro, avocado, lime, hot sauce

Carnitas – braised pork tacos with white onion, tomato, cilantro, avocado, lime, hot sauce

Carnitas

Prep: 15-20 minutes

Cook time: 2.5 hours

5 pound Boneless pork shoulder, cut into 3 inch cubes

2 cups chopped vegetables: I say use whatever you have on its way out in the crisper, I had some celery, onion, carrots, and bell pepper scraps.

8 cloves garlic

2 limes, cut in half

1 jalapeño, cut in half

1 cup orange juice

1 bottle light beer, I used corona

1 T Mexican oregano

1 T ground cumin

2 T kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 cups water

Pork ready to go!

Pork ready to go!

  • Cut your pork shoulder into 3 inch cubes, you can cut off some of the fat if you would like or leave it for more flavor.
  • In a large pot add your vegetables, pork, spices, limes, garlic, and pour in your orange juice and beer.
  • Fill the rest of the pot with water just to cover the pork.
  • Bring to  boil and then reduce to a simmer, cook in a covered pot for 2 hours.
  • When the meat is tender, turn off the heat and let it sit for 10-15 minutes so its can rest inside the liquid.
Pork braising, an hour in.

Pork braising, an hour in.

  • Remove the meat and cut off any large fat chunks, smash the meat into large pieces.
  • Strain the braising liquid, removing all the veggie remnants.
  • Put the strained liquid back on the burner, reduce down to a syrup. Should take 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove your syrup and pour it over the shredded pork. Put the pork on a sheet pan in an even layer and place in your broiler.
Pork just removed and pulled

Pork just removed and pulled

  • The pork will become crispy and brown in the broiler after 5-10 minutes. If you want some char leave it in longer.
Crispy pork, after the broiler. You can leave it in longer if you want more of a char

Crispy pork, after the broiler. You can leave it in longer if you want more of a char

  • It is now ready to serve. Eat it in corn or flour tortillas with raw white onion, chopped tomatoes, sliced avocado, cilantro, hot sauce, and cotija cheese. Delish!

 

Carnitas - Pork tacos

Carnitas – Pork tacos

 

This meal was really easy to prepare and a hit! The texture of the meat is different than pulled pork, its more sticky and chewy, and after broiling, crispy. I love it, and its definitely a meal I will make time and time again.

 

 

Thank you.

 

Sean Patrick Gallagher

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One thought on “Carnitas

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