There’s no denying that I LOVE TACOS. I’ll take a few good street tacos over a fancy dinner any day of the week. What can I say? Add some tequila and I’m a cheap date.
What are carnitas?
Carnitas are essentially Mexico’s version of pulled pork. Roasted until tender, the pork is then pulled apart and cooked again to produce brown crispy edges – perfección. What I love most about this recipe is it’s simplicity. Seriously, only a few ingredients combine to create a truly magical flavor profile.
The thought of cooking something in milk might turn some of you off, but here me out – you aren’t going to taste the milk. It might resemble pork cereal while cooking (barf,) but it really is just there to break down the meat. I could get into some boring sciency facts here, but just take my word for it. Roasting meat in milk breaks it down into tender deliciousness. It’s soooooo good.
Perfect for a party
This recipe takes time, but like most of my favorite party recipes – it is mostly hands off. Plus, you can actually roast your pork the day before and throw it in the fridge overnight. All you have to do at that point is reheat it, then roast it according to the recipe.
TACOS OF CARNITAS
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
- Yield: 6 Generous Tacos
Courtesy of Amor y Tacos
By Deborah Schneider
3 lbs boneless pork shoulder (butt)
1 tablespoon lard or shortening
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
About 2 cups water
½ teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
Warm corn tortillas
Diced avocado, lightly salted
Pork rinds, crumbled
Diced white onion
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut the pork into 6-8 pieces. Melt the lard in a heavy Dutch oven just large enough to hold the meat in one layer. Brown the meat on all sides and season with salt.
Squeeze the orange over the meat and toss the rind into the pan. Pour the milk over the meat and add enough water to almost cover the meat. Sprinkle with pepper. Cover tightly with aluminum foil (or lid of Dutch oven) and bake for 2 hours, until the meat is fork tender.
To finish, remove the meat to a cutting board and break into largish pieces. Reserve a cup of the liquid and discard the remaining orange rinds. Place pulled meat in a roasting pan and add the cup of the reserved liquid back into the pan.
Roast, uncovered, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 20 minutes, or until the meat is brown and crisp on the edges.
To assemble, fill warm corn tortillas with shredded pork. Top with avocado, mango salsa, pork rind crumbles, onion and cilantro.