I ran across this recipe for pork carnitas on Pinterest. I'm so glad I finally got my pinboards organized into recipe categories. I had been lumping all of my recipes together and it was overwhelming trying to find something to make. Since I re-organized, I've been trying many more new recipes. I <3 Pinterest!
I had never made pork like this before, but I think it's a pretty foolproof method. Cooking it for two hours in the oven really tenderizes the meat so that it practically melts off of your fork. I love the little hint of citrus you get from the orange juice, too. I served this in Homemade Flour Tortillas with Guacamole Salsa....another recipe I came across on Pinterest. I have to be careful around my husband because he gets annoyed when every other thing out of my mouth is, "I saw on Pinterest (insert aweseme project/recipe/idea here). Haha. He's not a big Pinterest fan.
Anyway, this was a delicious meal. The recipe was originally adapted from a Cook's Illustrated recipe, so it must be good, right? Theirs is my favorite cooking magazine. I love how they put so much research into each recipe. The guacamole salsa reminded me of a sauce I've eaten several times in Mexico. The nice thing is, it doesn't turn brown like guacamole does when it's exposed to air.
My Kitchen Escapades
4 pound boneless pork butt, fat trimmed and cut into 2 inch cubes
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 onion, peeled and halved
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried oregano
2 Tb fresh lime juice
2 C water
1 medium orange, juiced and keep the spent halves
Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat to 300 degrees. Combine all the ingredients in a large Dutch oven, including the spent orange halves and juice. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, uncovered. Once it simmers, cover pot and transfer it to the oven. Cook until the meat falls apart when prodded with a fork, about 2 hours.
Remove the pot from the oven and turn on the broiler. Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat from the pan and place it on a large foil-lined jelly roll pan. Remove and discard everything from the pot except for the cooking liquid. Place pot over medium high heat on the stove and boil until thick and syrupy, about 20 minutes. You should have about 1 C of liquid remaining when it is finished.
While the liquid is reducing, use two forks to pull each cube of pork into three equal sized pieces. Once the liquid has become a syrup, gently fold in the pieces of pork into the pot. Try not to break up the pork any further. Taste and add additional salt and pepper.
Spread the pork back onto the foil lined pan and evenly spread the meat around so there is a single layer of meat. Place the jelly roll pan on the lower middle rack of the oven and broil until the top of the meat is well browned and edges are slightly crisp, about 5 to 8 minutes. Using a wide metal spatula, flip the pieces of meat and broil the other side until well browned and edges are slightly crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. Serve immediately in a tortilla with all your favorite toppings.
Frosted Bake Shop
1 lb. tomatillos (or more if you want it thinner)
1 jalapeno pepper (I used half and it wasn't hot at all)
1/3 bunch cilantro
1 thick slice of onion
1 garlic clove
1 tsp. salt
Peel and wash the tomatillos. Cut them into quarters and put in the blender. Follow with the jalapeno, cilantro, onion, garlic, avocado & salt. Be sure to put the tomatillos in the bottom of the blender and not the avocado so it doesn't stick to the blade. You might have to help it start by shaking or using a mixer at first. But, once it gets going the juice from the tomatillos will help move the other ingredients around. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week.