Friday, April 18, 2014

Pork Carnitas

Another pork taco recipe? Yes, I know on Monday I shared a recipe for Cuban Street Tacos. SP actually made these Pork Carnitas back in early March and I'm just getting around to blogging them now. So I hope you guys like pork tacos!

As you may have realized, we've started doing Sunday dinners with my parents again. It started back in September after my stepgrandmother had a stroke and was subsequently moved to a long-term care facility. Things were very rough in the beginning, especially for my parents since my stepdad is the only one local and a lot of the burden of his mother's care fell to him. SP thought it would be a good idea to take food over to their house on Sundays so they could relax, spend time with Baby Girl and not have to worry about dinner for one night. SP and I recently started alternating the cooking so he could try out some new recipes and get back into the kitchen.


SP actually prepared this whole meal himself while me, Baby Girl and my mom were at the Philadelphia Flower Show for the day. The flavor was outstanding. I was expecting a citrus flavor from the orange juice but all it did was add to the overall depth of flavor. These tacos were meaty and delicious.


Pork Carnitas
Williams-Sonoma Mexican cookbook

3 lbs boneless pork shoulder or 3 lbs country-style pork ribs
6 garlic cloves, halved
1 orange, zest of (cut into wide strips using a vegetable peeler)
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
sea salt
1 tablespoon canola oil (if necessary)
12 corn or flour tortillas, warmed
salsa fresca
refried beans

Cut off any big pieces of fat from the pork and put the fat into a wide, heavy saucepan or frying pan. Cut the pork into strips about 1 1/2 inches long and 3/4 inch wide. Add the pork to the pan with the garlic, orange zest, orange juice, and 2 teaspoons sea salt. The meat should be in a single layer, if possible. Add water to barely cover the meat and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover partially, and cook, stirring occasionally, until all of the liquid has evaporated, about 1 hour. If the meat is not yet fork tender, add a bit more water, cover and continue cooking.

Uncover the pan and continue cooking the pork until all the fat is rendered and the meat is browning in the melted fat, 10-15 minutes longer. There is usually enough melted fat in the pan, but if necessary, add the 1 tablespoon oil. When the meat is brown and crisp, using a slotted spoon, transfer it to a colander and let any excess fat drain away.

Immediately transfer the pork to a warmed serving bowl. Serve with the warm tortillas, guacamole and salsa to make tacos.
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