Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Carne de Cerdo!

I know I promised I would teach you how to make "Carnitas," and today is your lucky day! Carnitas, or "little meats," consists of chunks of meat (usually pork) that are slowly simmered until crispy on the outside and meltingly tender on the inside. They make fantastic tacos! Serve them with corn or flour tortillas, Salsa MexicanaGuacamole or Guacamole Taquero, and some crema or sour cream drizzled on top! They are truly heavenly and perfect for Cinco de Mayo! Classic fiesta food! Refried beans and/or rice make nice accompaniments. Don't forget a nice cold cerveza or La Margarita Original to wash it all down!


Pork Carnitas

Serves 6

Ingredients:

3 pound boneless pork shoulder or country-style ribs
6 cloves of garlic, halved
Zest of 1 orange, cut into strips
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano, rolled in the palms of your hands (if you can't find Mexican oregano, just omit it, do not add Italian oregano as it does not taste the same)
Sea salt
1 tablespoon canola or safflower oil, if needed
12, 6-8" corn or flour tortillas, warmed


Directions:

Cut off any big pieces of fat from the pork and put them into a wide, heavy saucepan (like cast iron) or frying pan. Cut the pork into 1 1/2" cubes. Add the pork to the pan with the garlic, orange zest, and 2 teaspoons sea salt. Try to keep the meat in a single layer, if possible.


Next, add the orange juice and pour in enough water to barely cover the meat. Add the oregano, if using.


Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to low, partially cover, and cook until the meat is fork tender, about 1 1/2 hours. At this point, you can remove the orange peel, if you like, but it will disintegrate if left in. 


Uncover the pan, raise the heat and continue cooking the pork, stirring occasionally, until all the fat is rendered and the meat is browning in the melted fat, about 15-30 minutes or so. (The time to allow the meat to become crispy depends on the size of the pan used and how much water is added. Just be patient. It's worth the wait!) There is usually enough melted fat in the pan, but if necessary, add 1 tablespoon oil. (I've never had to add oil.) When the meat is brown and crisp, using a slotted spoon, transfer it to a colander and let any excess fat drain away. (If there are any pieces of fat left, remove them, no one wants to eat that!)

Immediately transfer the pork to a warmed serving bowl. Serve with the salsa, guacamole, crema, and tortillas to let your guests make their own. Muy Bueno!


4 comments:

  1. thanks for sharing.

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  2. This was my first attempt to make carnitas and it was amazing!!! The best tacos ever :)

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