by Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Slow Cooking*
- Salt and fresh ground pepper
- 1 boneless pork shoulder or 3 thick, boneless pork chops which is what I used.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 yellow onion (I used three large, organically grown [not mine] green onions - the bulbs were the size of walnuts bought at a local farmers market).
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups of Mexican, lager-style beer (yea, like I would have that - so I used beef broth)
- Grated zest and juice of 1 large orange (didn't have it)
- Grated zest and juice of 1 lime (didn't have that either)
- 1 tbsp. oregano
- 15-20 corn or flour tortillas
In a small bowl, combine 2 tsps. salt and 1 tsp. pepper. Season the pork roast generously with the mixture. Set aside. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the pork, and cook, turning frequently until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. Pour off all but a thin layer of fat in the pan. Add the onion and garlic and saute until they begin to soften, 1-2 minutes. Add the beer (or broth) and deglaze the pan, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Transfer pork back to pan with the onions and broth, lemon and orange zest along with their juices. Also add the oregano. Simmer for about 1/2 hr. to .45 minutes (or cook five hours on high in crockpot) and let most of it evaporate down to nothing but don't let it burn. Add two cups of water or more broth if there's any left (use hot water if using crockpot), stir browned bits again and continue to simmer the pork for another hour until meat is tender and half of broth has evaporated. Take two forks and pull apart the pork and shred it all, cover and set aside. In a large iron skillet pour 2 tbsps. olive oil, heat on med-high. Brown tortillas on both sides and fold over in 1/2 - taco style. Place on paper towels to drain excess oil. Fold the tortillas and fill with the meat and salsa. Serve with any other sides like beans and rice.
FRESH TOMATO SALSA
(Make this early in the morning so it has time to set and while the meat is cooking)
- 2-3 medium sized fresh tomatoes (from 1 lb to 1 1/2 lbs.), stems removed, finely diced.
- 1/2 red onion, finely diced
- 1 jalapeno chili pepper, stems, rib, seeds removed, finely diced
- Juice of one lime
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- Cumin to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
Start with chopping up 2-3 medium sized fresh tomatoes. Prepare the jalepenos peppers. Be very careful while handling these hot peppers. If you can, avoid touching them with your hands. Use a fork to cut up the chilies over a small plate, or use a paper towel to protect your hands. Wash your hand thoroughly with soap and hot wather after handling and avoid touching your eyes for several hours. Combine all of the ingredients in a medium size bowl. Taste. If the chilies make the salsa too hot, add some more chopped tomato. Add cumin for added taste. Let set for at least an hour for the flavors to combine.
I did not grow up eating these. As a matter of fact, I had not heard about them until about a year and a half ago. I've posted this recipe at least twice before but this is my favorite Mexican dish and had to post it in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month.
Making the pork is really simple and easy, all you do is season it, cook it low and slow and you're sure to get a tender juicy meat. This has become a family favorite and it's always a hit, especially with the kids (I still call them kids even if they're grown adults). Carnitas are so delicious with the usual side dishes of beans, rice and salsa. Mmmmmm, I'm making myself hungry for these and it's late at night. Anyways, hubby tells me I should rent a food cart stand and sell these in the parking lot at the local supermarket. He's certain I'd making a killin' and the kids agree. It sounds intriguing but we'll see.
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