Carnitas

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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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Butter Lane Cupcakes<3

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Elvis Cupcake. SO GOOD!

Today was one of those day’s that you just never forget. Started out simply enough. Strolled around St. Marks with my beau, shopped a bit, stopped to get coffee. It was absolutely beautiful today and this evening was warm and the sun set late.

St. Marks is an experience. On the Lower East Side of Manhattan, it’s like crossing into another dimension from where I live in Astoria. People are hip. Hip? Yes hip. Hip in many ways. They present themselves in any way they want. I love it. Be who you are, or who you want to be.. as long as your happy at the end of the day with your blue hair and your ripped leggings, so be it!

Regardless, the people here have their own way about them. Unpretentious, fun, and laid back. The atmosphere is just the same. Small niche restaurants, bars, and cafes stud the streets. Intersected by tattoo parlors, soap shops, and frozen yogurt galore. It is definitely a different Manhattan, and I can see why there is so much appeal. Just people being human and enjoying so much of what this quirky area has to offer.

So to get down to what sparked this post… and made my day… Butter Lane Cupcakes!

*To me the best example of what this area has to offer.

Butter Lane Cupcakes Storefront

Okay I know what you’re thinking. You’re fat. I GET IT! But there is just something about light, fluffy cake.. topped with velvety frosting that just does it for me. OKAY?! 😀

Butter Lane Cupcakes do it right. They source natural ingredients and make cupcakes with the finest and freshest stuff they can find. This place is a true gem. Absolutely delightful staff, DELICIOUS products, and the cutest storefront around.

You pick your cake and your frosting

Jamaal and I had the pleasure of tasting 3 different cupcakes. I will make you jealous now.

Chocolate Peanut Butter – Rich, moist chocolate cake with subtle peanut frosting

The “Elvis” – Delicious banana cake with notes of cinnamon, paired with peanut butter frosting and topped with marshmallows… a KNOCKOUT.

Strawberry Cheesecake – Light vanilla cake with strawberry filling, and cream cheese icing.. yum

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcake

After we indulged in Caracas, an amazing arepas spot on the same street..(I will revisit this place as well to tell you all about it :D) We walked around the lovely Tompkin’s Square Park.. and then we finished our evening with Butter Lane Cupcakes. This was a foodies dream and I challenge all of you to make your way down to St. Marks and indulge!

They know what they’re doing here. Hope you all try it out.. well worth the trip to this great hotspot in St. Marks.

Butter Lane Cupcakes

Things you should know:

*They cater weddings, private events, and offer cupcake classes.

Butter Lane: The Better Cupcake

“Butter Lane is devoted to making you the perfect cupcake. With a focus on pure ingredients like real vanilla beans, pure cocoa and dark chocolate, we’re giving foodies something to sink their teeth into besides straight sugar (although we have some of that, too!).”

http://www.butterlane.com/

Address: 123 East Seventh Street

New York, NY 10009

212.677.2880

Email me with any questions at Chef.Seangallagher@gmail.com

Best,
Sean Gallagher