Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Pork Carnitas

Whenever pork shoulder goes on sale I make this dish, it's one of my favorites. Before I get into it...I feel like I should start every recipe with a disclaimer, *I realize this isn't authentic and I apologize, it's just my version of ______*
With that being said, this is my idea of pork carnitas!
1 pork shoulder/butt
Spice rub (salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, dried ancho powder)
3 onions quartered
3 whole dried ancho peppers
I orange
6 whole garlic cloves 
1 hoppy beer or dry white wine
Rub the roast with spice blend and brown all sides in a heavy Dutch oven. 
Remove the roast and deglaze the pot with beer. Add the onion and garlic. Cut the stems from the dried ancho and shake out the seeds. Toss them in the pot. Cut the orange in half, squeeze the juice, I think putting the skins in makes the liquid really bitter so I just use the juice. Now you can place the roast on top of that onion raft, fat side up. Put some water in so that the liquid is touching the meat. Bring it to a boil with the lid on. At this point you can either lower the heat and simmer or put it in a 300 degree oven. I opted for the oven today because it's cold in here. Check the liquid every hour and add more if needed. 
I turn it over after a few hours. 
It will take 4-6 hours to cook. When the meat is falling from the bone, it's perfect. Remove the pork to cool a bit. Remove the vegetables from the pot and set aside. When the liquid is cool, skim the fat from the top and add the onions back in. Smash the garlic and ancho with a fork and return to pot. Peel the fat layer off the roast and start pulling the meat with a fork. Return it to the liquid and warm it if needed. 

We love this on corn tortillas with a crispy slaw or with yellow rice and black beans. If we don't have a crowd to feed, I freeze the pork in quart bags so we can enjoy this again as an emergency meal. 

Here is the crispy slaw that I use. I saw it on an episode of America's Test Kitchen and it's perfect. 
1/2 head of green cabbage
1 onion
1 jalapeño seeded and diced
1 carrot shredded
1 cup Cider vinegar
1/2 cup Cold water
1TBS sugar
1 tsp dried oregano 
1 bunch of chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper
Slice the cabbage and onion super thin and mix with everything except cilantro. Chill in fridge for at least 30 minutes. Drain liquid and discard, add chopped cilantro and toss together. All done!

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