Thursday, April 2, 2015

Slow Cooked Pork Carnitas

This recipe just made it's way into my top 5 of all time.  The heat from the jalapenos adds a nice heat,  while the citrus from the oranges cuts through the heat and adds a nice undertone of flavor.  The citrus and the heat definitely compete,  but neither over powers the other.  

This is what determines my top 5:

1. How much does it make?
2. Is it something I can sustain eating for 4 days?
3.  Is it friggan delicious?

Pork Carnitas:

1. Yes
2. Yes
3. Yes

I added one jalapeno with seeds,  and one without because I like a little heat.  You can add both jalapenos with the seeds,  and no seeds at all.  See,  all of the heat is in the seeds and ribs.  Removing them completely eliminates all heat.

It is very important you use bone in pork shoulder or but.  I am a firm believer that the bone adds flavor and moisture.  I am also a firm believer the meat HAS to be seared before slow cooked.  This could be made in a crock pot for sure,  but definitely  sear the meat in a cast iron or pan with oil first.  If you chose to make this the crock pot,  follow the same directions but cook on low for 8 hours. 

Pork Carnitas
Prep: 25 minutes (roughly)
Cook: 5 1/2 hours plus 10 minutes
Serves: 6-7

5 1/2- 6lb Pork Shoulder or Pork But,  bone in
2 small white onions, diced
2 Jalapeno Peppers,   seeds removed from one---diced
3 cloves of garlic,  diced
2 large oranges, cut in half
2 tbsp cumin
2 tbsp oregano 
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup water


1.  Heat your Dutch Oven with 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium high heat.  Preheat the oven for 275 degrees.

2.  While your dutch oven is heating (3-5 minutes) mix the salt, pepper, oregano, and cumin. Rub the mixture well into the meat.

3.  Begin searing the meat on each side for 3-5 minutes.  

4.  Once the meat is seared and brown on each side,  place the pork shoulder fat cap facing up.

5.  Add the jalapenos,  onions, garlic,  and remaining one tbsp of olive oil.  Allow to cook 2-3 minutes until fragrant.  

6.  Juice the two oranges over the pork,  and add the orange peels to the dutch oven.  Add water.

7.   Place the lid on the dutch oven and place into the 275 degree oven for 5 1/2 hours.

8.  Remove from oven,  remove bone and fat cap.  (You need to cook with the fat cap so that the fat seeps into the meat and moisturizes it as it cooks).

9.  Turn the oven up to 325.

10.  Shred the meat and mix into the juices.

11.  Place the meat back in the oven uncovered for approximately 10 minutes so that the juices and shredded meat marinates.

Suggested taco accompaniments:
Diced avocado or guacamole
Squeeze of lime
Red Onions
Shredded Cheese

Served in a seared and browned corn tortillas