Pork Carnitas

by Valerie on May 8, 2009 · 0 comments

Another recipe husband and I have made from Cocina de la Familia (otherwise known to us as the serious Mexican cookbook ) is the Pork Carnitas – actually, come to think of it, husband has made them. I napped when he made this dish a few weeks ago. It was delicious with lots of guacamole and the black beans I posted yesterday. This method really maximizes the flavor of the pork.

Pork Carnitas
from Cocina de La Familia, p. 116-117

Pork Carnitas with Guacamole

4 pounds boneless pork shoulder, butt or meaty country-style ribs
2 white onions, quartered
6 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons dried Oregano, preferably Mexican (we only had Greek oregano and it was delicious)
2-3 whole pickled jalapeno chiles
sea salt
3/4 cup Dr. Pepper or Coca-Cola (I vetoed that so husband bought an all-natural cola soda at Whole Foods to substitute in)
3/4 cup orange juice
zest of peel of 1/2 orange, cut in narrow 1-inch-long strips
black pepper

Trim off much of the excess fat from the outside of the meat but leave the thin inner strips. Cut into irregular chunks approximately 1 1/2 inch square.

Place the meat in a wide heavy pot, such as a Dutch oven or cast iron skillet (this pot worked great) with a lid. Cover with water by 1/2 inch – no more. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and skim off any foam that may rise to the surgace. Add the onions, garlic, oregano, chiles and salt to taste. When the water begins to boil again, lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, about 1 hour, until the meat is almost tender. A bit more water might be needed is the pork is still tough. Stir occasionally. If there is liquid remainingin the pan when the meat is ready, turn pu the heat and boil it until it is all evaporated, but watch the meat so that it doesn’t scorch.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees D. Remove the chiles from the pot. Add the soda pop, orange juice, zest, pepper and any needed additional salt and mix well with the pork. If the meat is not in a single layer, it should be put into a flatter pan so that it can brown evenly. Bake, uncovered about 30-40 minutes, until the meat is crispy and glazed with the syrup. The meat will have to be stirred often because the sugar in the soda and orange juice will burn easily. Drain off accumulate fat and serve.

We followed the book’s instructions to eat the carnitas as tacos with guacamole. They were delicious.

Pork Carnitas with Guacamole and "Refried" Black Beans
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