Carnitas

23 Dec


B grew up in Brazil, and has introduced me to a bit of Brazilian cooking over the past year. Absolutely delicious. She said she was making Carnitas one day, and directed me to the recipe she uses. Oh boy. Even a non-pork lover like me is all over these crispy, tasty morsels.

These Carnitas, ‘little meats’, are slow braised pork shoulder, which are then cooked down and browned in their own juices and fat. So you have the juicy braised meat with a crisped outer layer, and then the smaller crunchy pieces that taunt you with pleas of “eat me straight out of the pan”. Which of course, you must obey.

This will yield quite a deal of finished Carnita meat, we served 9 portions, but it is the size of shoulder I can find here in Trinidad. Feel free to reduce the quantities, just adjust your ingredients to suit.

My posing ingredients are cubed boned pork shoulder, orange juice, lime juice, garlic (minced), ground cumin and good quality salt.

Put all of the ingredients in to a heavy based or cast iron pot, and top up with enough water to just cover the meat.


Bring the pot to the boil, and then reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for three hours, and then increase the heat to cook off some of the liquid. For the next hour or so turn the meat gently from time to time, until the liquid is low in the pot.


The next stage is to reduce down and render the meat in its juices and fat. I just cook down the amount we will be eating for that meal, and refrigerate the rest for later. They do improve over time.


On medium-low heat cook the meat down until it is browned and is caramelised on the outside, turning minimally. You could use the same pot, but I use a non-stick pan to ensure I lose none of my meat to the pan.

Your Carnitas will be calling your name…. so get the tortillas and your chosen ‘fixings’ ready to go.

Tag B, you’re ‘it’.

Alice

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CARNITAS
Ingredients
2.5 kg (5 pound) boned pork shoulder cut in to rough 3cm by 3cm cubes.
1  cup orange juice
1/2 cup lime juice
8 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons good quality salt
——-
Serve with tortillas, coriander (cilantro), lime wedges, pickled jalapeños, some simple coleslaw or any of your favourite soft taco additions.
——-

Put all of the ingredients in to a heavy based or cast iron pot, and top up with enough water to just cover the meat. Bring the pot to the boil, and then reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for three hours, and then increase the heat to cook off some of the liquid. For the next hour or so turn the meat gently from time to time, until the liquid is low in the pot.

The next stage is to reduce down and render the meat in its juices and fat. Just cook down the amount you need for that meal, and refrigerate the rest for later.

On medium – low heat, a quiet sizzle, cook the meat down until it is browned and is caramelised on the outside, turning minimally. When browned all over, they are ready to serve.

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3 Responses to “Carnitas”

  1. Raul A. Diaz 12/01/2012 at 6:56 am #

    MMMMmmmmmm. Carnitas!!

    • Brenda 12/01/2012 at 1:15 pm #

      Raul, I need to hear how it turns out!
      ~B

      • Raul A. Diaz 22/01/2012 at 4:39 pm #

        With the NY Giants in the playoffs and a big game coming today I needed a great meal to bring to the party. Ive been nervous on making this but thought it would really go over well. So I found the courage and made them last night (but I did have to make a call to B for some re-assurance).

        Only problem is that they were SO AWESOME that I ended up eating more than I should and now I dont think I have a good enough portion to bring to the game. So I went out and bought some more Pork Shoulder and made another batch. (Keeping what remains of the first batch for myself MUahahahahaha)

        I truly thank the two masters running this blog for the great recipe and directions. Keep up the great work!! I expect the Food Network will soon find you two and make a new hit cooking show.

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