Friday, December 9, 2011

Homesick Texan Carnitas

You know it is going to be a good recipe when not one of your favorite food guinea pigs, but TWO of them send you the same recipe!  With both of these taste testers coming over for dinner I thought it would be the best opportunity to try our new recipe.  With a few adjustments in the cooking method (I wasn't going to have time to cook this as long as it needed after work) I decided to try this in the goes nothing!

Homesick Texan Carnitas
Adapted, just barely, from The Homesick Texan Cookbook
Smitten Kitchen

3 pounds boneless pork shoulder or pork butt, cut into 2-inch cubes
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lime juice (from about 2 to 3 limes)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more to taste
Corn tortillas, for serving plus
Avocado slices, chopped cilantro and fixings of your choice (we love pickled jalapenos or onions, lime wedges and a bit of slaw)
Place the pork in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot. 
Add the orange juice, lime juice, garlic, cumin, salt and enough water to just barely cover the meat. 
Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for two hours. Don’t touch the meat. Since I was going to be at work all day and didn't have time to do this when I got home (if we wanted to eat before 10:00) I decided to try this in the crockpot so I put in on low for the day and then when I got home from work bumped it up to high.
After two hours, increase the heat to medium-high and while occasionally stirring and turning the pieces, continue to cook for about 45 minutes, or until all of the liquid has evaporated, leaving only the rendered pork fat. Let it sizzle in this fat long enough to brown at the edges, turning pieces gently (they’ll be eager to fall apart), only as needed.

When pork has browned on both sides, it’s ready. Adjust seasonings to taste and serve on warmed tortillas with fixings.

We also served these with pickled jalapeños, lime wedges, avocado slices, cilantro and diced red onion but the most incredible condiment was the Chili's Skillet Queso that I was thrilled tasted just like the real deal!!!
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