Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Carnitas #2

Most traditional recipes require you to confit, that is, braise slowly in its own fat, in this case lard. In lieu of adding fat to an already fatty cut, I'm going to simmer in water instead. Minus the onion, you could convert this to lard with ease: use seeds instead of ground spices, cover in melted lard, simmer at about 275-300 degrees for about 3 hours.

Carnitas #2

1 whole pork shoulder, 3-4lb, preferably with bone, trimmed and cut into chunks.
1 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 onion, rough chopped
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp black pepper
1 large orange, sliced in rounds
8 whole garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
Cold water

  1. To a big stock pot, add all ingredients. Add enough cold water to just cover the meat, bring to a boil (about 12-15 minutes at high heat), reduce heat to simmer.
  2. Simmer over medium-low heat for 2.5-3 hours, until falling apart.

2 tbsp salt I originally used made the meat very well-seasoned, but perhaps slightly too well. Broth tasted a bit too salty. Revising the recipe down to 1 tbsp salt, then can add more as needed.

Flavors are very mellow; you just get more roundness in the meat; I can't really pick out orange, coriander, cumin or oregano, but they contribute good balance and roundness. I might consider doing more orange, and some more coriander/cumin for the future. A bit of chili powder probably wouldn't hurt anything either.

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