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Cinco De Mayo has become a holiday, like St Patty’s Day that we American’s celebrate every year with partying, but we are celebrating culinary fare as well. As a lover of spicy foods and as a Californian – where great Mexican restaurants are abundant – I eat Mexican at restaurants and cook at home on a very frequent basis; generally something easy to make for dinner like tacos or enchiladas and of course beans and rice.
But when I like to make something special that takes some real time and love, carnitas never fail. This tender and flavorful shredded pork dish is one of my all time favorite comfort foods and goes great on its own as well as in tacos, burritos, taquitos and anything else that calls for putting meat in a tortilla. Below is my recipe for carnitas that I have been making for years and is always a hit with friends and family as well as at any pot lucks or BBQs I have brought it to.
- 1 3-5lb pork butt (boston butt, boston shoulder, etc.)
- 2 navel oranges – quartered
- 1 yellow or white onion – rough chop (Here are some great onion choppers for you!)
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 1 Tbs whole peppercorns
- 1 Tbs coriander
- Salt and Pepper (Check out our recommended salt and pepper grinder sets!)
- Rinse off the roast under cold water and place in a pot on top of all other ingredients and with enough salted cold water to cover by an inch or so.
- Bring the pot to a simmer, reduce heat and allow it to simmer uncovered for 2-3 hours until it is fork tender.
- Remove the meat the water. Place in a roasting pan, loosely cover with foil and allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes, more if it is a larger roast. Preheat your oven to broil. [[Alternatively, you can cook this in the best roaster oven]]
- Remove foil and shred the meat with a fork. Place it in the broiler for about 5 minutes or until the meat is just slightly crispy.
- Serve with warm fresh tortillas – great seasoned with a squeeze of lime and dash of hot sauce.
• Use a pot that is wide enough so there is just a little bit of space between the sides of the meat and the inside of the pot and tall enough so the water is well below the top.
• Patience is key with a piece of meat like this. Simmering will allow everything to cook properly and result in a very tender roast. Boiling will result in something with the texture of a catcher’s mitt.
You can find more great recipes like this in our Best Mexican Cookbooks!
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