Holla, goofballs! Well, the weekend is here and of course that means that I am in the kitchen.
I just made pork carnitas. What, what? Delicioso!!! You MUST try these. Totally easy and a BIG crowd pleaser. (Or a dog teaser, in my case. The smell of the pork cooking drove Jackson B. nuts all morning. And me too, if I must admit.)
I didn’t use anyone else’s recipe, I just winged it with these, as I always do. I know what flavors I expect in this dish and I wing it to make that flavor profile happen. 😉
2 lb pork shoulder, cut into large-ish chunks
1 large onion, quartered
1 orange, washed well & juiced (reserve juiced halves)
1 lime, juiced
2 or 3 bay leaves
Sea salt & pepper to taste
4 garlic cloves (keep whole)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place all ingredients in large Dutch oven and cover with 2 cups (or so) of water, depending on the size of your Dutch oven. Be sure to juice the oranges and then place the peels in the pot, but just juice the limes, don’t add those lime peels.) Bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Once oven is preheated, and mixture starts to boil, take off heat and place (lidded) in oven for about 2 hours, or until the meat falls apart when poked with fork. Take out of oven, drain & reserve liquid. Throw out (or compost or whatever you do with that stuff) the non-pork ingredients, (onion, garlic, bay leaves and orange peels) and turn broiler on high, placing oven rack close to broiler. While broiler is heating, place pork on cookie sheet covered in aluminum foil. Break apart slightly, but do not completely shred, you want small to medium bite-sized pieces here. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil and place under broiler for about 10 minutes. Watch closely so it doesn’t burn. 10 minutes was perfect for my oven. The pork should have browned, crunchy spots but NOT be burnt. Take out of oven when done to your liking.
I like to reserve the liquid and reduce it (to about 1/4 of the volume) so that I can drizzle some of that flavorful deliciousness over the pork when it’s in my tortilla. Oh good gracious… Those crunchy bits of pork and that sauce with the soft, warmed tortilla and some fresh crunchy lettuce. Heaven. Just heaven. Try it, you’ll love it.