Salt and Pepper
and a Dutch Oven
This is all you need to make the best pork carnitas around.
I have a weak spot for caramelized savory dishes. These carnitas are little nuggets of delicious goodness.
Serve warm on a corn tortilla with a little fresh guacamole and a touch of cilantro and lime. Ah, bliss.
Give it a try.
Recipe by: Zarela Martinez
Cookbook: Food From My Heart
1/4 to 1/3 cup lard, or vegetable oil
4 pounds lean boneless pork butt, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Zest of 1 or 2 oranges, finely chopped or slivered
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
In a large, heavy Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid, heat 3-4 tablespoons of the lard or oil over high heat until almost smoking. Add about one third of the pork (just enough to fit in one layer.) Season lightly with salt and pepper and scatter one third of the orange zest over it. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionallly and adjusting the heat as necessary, until the pork is browned and crisp on all sides, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the meat to a large bowl and reserve. Cook the remaining pork in two batches in the same manner, adding another 1 or 2 tablespoons of lard if necessary.
Drain off the excess fat from the Dutch oven; return the browned meat to the pan, add the orange juice and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently to coat the meat on all sides. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until the liquid reduces to a syrupy glaze, 10 to 15 minutes. While the orange juice is reducing, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Bake, tightly covered, until the meat is very tender but chewy, about 40 minutes.
Drain off the excess fat that has accumulated and serve the carnitas hot, with hot flour or corn tortillas and any kind of salsa.
Yield: 6-8 servings