Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Carnitas

We've been eating a lot of Mexican food around here. Mostly taco/fajita salads. When we go out to eat, I usually order carnitas as my meat, and this spring, decided that I'd like to try to make it.

I found a recipe on epicurious.com that I've tweaked a bit and Wayne and I both love it. If you also like carnitas, give this a try.

Carnitas
4 pounds pork shoulder/butt  (Discard large pieces of fat that are easily removed).
3 cups water
1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup lime juice (or one whole lime halved - if you use this, remove after 1 1/2 hours of simmering)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
8 garlic cloves, peeled
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk (or substitute with 1 tablespoon
  cream and 1 tablespoon honey)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons table salt
Put all the ingredients in a wide 6-to 7-quart heavy pot (don't worry if the pork is not completely covered) and bring the water to a boil, skimming the surface as necessary. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pork is fork-tender and the liquid has completely evaporated. (Epicurious says to simmer vigorously 1 1/2-2 hours). However, I have found that letting it slowly simmer for a lot longer (all afternoon, for example) helps the fat to separate, the meat falls off the bone eliminating the laborious task of cutting the meat into small pieces.  Discard the bay leaves.

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Transfer the pork to a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil and lightly spray with cooking oil. Brown the pork, uncovered, for approximately 15-20 minutes. There's no need to stir.

Enjoy!

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