Saturday, July 6, 2013

Carnitas - Easy and Delicious

I'm finally back!  One month away and it is so good to be home, cooking and blogging again.  I didn't think I'd miss blogging as much as I did, so it is great to be back and in the middle of it all. 

I love tacos, every kind of taco...  well, with the exception of seafood and shellfish.  I've tried many different carnitas recipes and have always come up disappointed, that is, until now.  There are a couple of ingredients that made me question the end product but it comes together beautifully and is so balanced and delicious!  I used a 3 inch round cookie cutter to make mini tortillas in hopes that it might be more appealing to my girls and they LOVED them.  Topped with a little shredded cheese and fresh guacamole, you will be going back for seconds, and maybe thirds.

Serves 8
1/2 onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups water
6 cloves peeled garlic
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
pinch cumin
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp olive oil
4-5 lb Boneless pork shoulder or butt (cut into 4 inch chunks; fat on)
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 bay leaves
1 cup orange juice
2 tbsp sweetened condensed milk

In the jar of the blender, place the water, onion, garlic, oregano, black pepper, cumin, cloves and 1 tablespoon salt. Puree until smooth.

Set a large Dutch oven or heavy casserole over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and once it has heated up, add the pork chunks and sprinkle the 1/2 teaspoon salt. Brown meat on all sides, stirring and flipping as it does for about 10 minutes.  

Pour the onion mixture over the meat, let it come to a simmer and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Add the bay leaves and pour the orange juice and sweetened condensed milk, give it a good stir, let it come to a simmer, reduce the heat to low to medium-low and cover. Cook, stirring and scrapping the bottom of the casserole 2 to 3 times along the way, until the meat is completely cooked and coming easily apart if you pull one piece, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove the lid, cook for another 4 to 5 minutes. Scoop the carnitas with a slotted spoon, leaving any fat behind, and serve in a bowl or platter. Shred with a fork, if desired, before tucking into tacos.

Next time you are hosting dinner with friends this one will be a hit, give it a try.  You'll love it!

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