Tender Pork Carnitas
Hello all. Today I'm just sitting at my house, savoring the quiet December.
Today is quiet, anyways. Yesterday a massive COOKIE BOMB hit my kitchen, in which six varieties of sweets and treats were hwipped up by yours truly.
How do you do that with a little one, you may be wondering? Answer: my husband is a saint and, though I say it myself, a fabulous dad. Who does goofy dances to make the crying baby laugh? Dad does. All afternoon while mom makes cookies.
But you guys don't get to see the cookie paradise sprawled across my table, or the frosting smeared walls of my kitchen. Not now. Not YET.
You get...carnitas! Did you know 'carnitas' means 'little meats'? Of course you did.
Mexican food, taco cart tacos, they are the best. These are lovely and tender, with just a little kiss of citrus. Try to get the good corn tortillas from the Mexican market to go with them. 'Cause that cardboard from the grocery store aisle? No dice (do you remember when people said no dice).
Tender Pork Carnitas (adapted, just barely, from Smitten Kitchen)
3 pounds boneless pork shoulder or pork butt, cut into 2-inch cubes
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lime juice (from about 2 to 3 limes)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more to taste
Corn tortillas, for serving
Avocado slices, chopped cilantro and fixings of your choice (we like chopped onion, lime wedges and fresh salsa)
Place the pork in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot. Add the orange juice, lime juice, garlic, cumin, salt and enough water to just barely cover the meat. Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for two hours. Don’t touch the meat.
After two hours, increase the heat to medium-high and while occasionally stirring and turning the pieces, continue to cook for about 45 minutes, or until all of the liquid has evaporated, leaving only the rendered pork fat. Let it sizzle in this fat long enough to brown at the edges, turning pieces gently (they’ll be eager to fall apart), only as needed.
When pork has browned on both sides, it’s ready. Adjust seasonings to taste and serve on warmed tortillas with fixings.