May 14, 2010

Carnitas

There hasn't been a whole lot of posting on my (Kate's) part on this blog for a while. There has been a lot of eating and traveling, which I'll be posting about later. There has not been a lot of inspiration, a not a lot of hanging out with friends- so one Sunday I trampled both in one fell swoop.


This is one of my fail proof, always good, easy to feed a crowd recipes that I will make forever. Carnitas. A pile of roasted, caramelly pork with hints of garlic, cumin and orange to roll up in tortillas with some onion, cilantro, jicama-mango slaw, and salsas. I called up seven friends, blended up two different salsas, bought patio furniture with A and broke out the candles for the inagural setting on our pint-sized patio. We ate, drank, sat outside under the flickering light on one of the first perfect nights of the season. Life was good.



Also, happy mother's day Mom! We love you, thanks for teaching us how to cook!


Carnitas
Serves 6-8

1 6-lb pork roast- Boston butt, shoulder, something big, fatty and delicious
6-8 garlic cloves, peeled
2 onions, quartered
cumin
oregano
chili powder
2 oranges, halved
2 cans beer
water


1. Cut pork into 2-3 inch chunks- easy enough to sear, small enough to cook relatively quickly and then shred to bite size. Cut out large hunks of fat, and try to follow along the connective tissue.

2. Salt and pepper pork generously, then sprinkle with cumin.

3. Over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven, heat a few tablespoons of oil. Sear meat in batches on both sides, allowing a deep crust to form- this will create a crispy texture later. This isn't meant to cook the meat all the way through, just develop crust. Also, limit the number of pieces in the pan to avoid steaming. I used two pots for this, and did a few batches. Set finished pieces aside.

4. Once all meat is seared, turn down the heat to medium-low. Toss in the garlic, onions, and a palmful of oregano and chili powder, then add beer and scrape up the bits on the bottom of the pan.

5. Place meat back in the pot, beer should cover up to half or 2/3 of the meat, then add water to completely cover.

5. Preheat oven to 350. Slide covered pots into the oven and cook for 2-3 hours. Meat should be fall apart tender when done.

6. Remove meat from pot, place on foil lined sheet pan. Don't discard the liquid, leave in pot on stovetop and reduce until it becomes a thick and syrupy.

7. Broil meat on high until crisped and brown.

8. Shred the chunks of broiled meat, then add back to reduced liquid. Eat.

2 comments:

Melissa said...

I remember carnitas! But you added beer this time? Was it better? <3 miss you!

Kate said...

Oo yes the beer was crucial- for flavor, keeping the cook busy and using up some BudLight-no comment. Miss you too!