Pork "Carnitas" Recipe
This recipe will yield quite a bit of pork. The size of the initial piece will dictate the final yield , but I would recommend not being overly conservative as the final product is great to have around for leftovers.
Chef Bernie uses this pork recipe in his Enchiladas de Cerdo Guajillo recipe.
- 1 bone-in pork shoulder (ask your butcher to slice it into 2-inch thick slabs)
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 can chipotles in adobo
- 1 head of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 onions, sliced
- 2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice
- 4 bottles Mexican lager, preferably Victoria
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Liberally season the pork with salt and pepper. In a hot cast-iron skillet, heat the oil and then sear the pork slaps on both sides until a deep golden brown color.
Combine all ingredients in a heavy Dutch oven or a covered baking dish and braise in the oven for 4 hours or until fork tender. Remove from the oven and chill completely in braising liquid (trying to keep most of the pork submerged).
Once chilled, separate the meat from the braising liquid and bring the liquid to a simmer. Strain liquid, reserve, and chill. Pick the meat into bite-size or larger chunks. Separate the rendered pork fat from the braising liquid and reserve. Reduce the braising liquid by 1/3 and reserve. In a heavy skillet, crisp up the pork chunks in the rendered pork fat.
The 2 end products of this process are crispy, tender pork chunks and intensely flavored carnitas jus. Reserved jus can be used to enhance soups or sauces (great used in conjunction with V-8 and fresh citrus as a base for an untraditional tortilla soup with leftover carnitas, veggies, and tortilla strips).