Thursday, February 11, 2010

Carnitas! A.K.A Braised Pork, Mexican Style

I made the below recipe Super Bowl Sunday for a group of about 8 people. It turned out really well and was ridiculously easy to make. It was also great because I was able to prepare it ahead of time.

Total Time: 15 min. prep/8 hrs. (slow cooked)

3 1/2 pounds bone-in pork shoulder (aka pork butt - nice name, huh?) - I used a 4 lb piece of meat because I was serving a larger group
1 bottle (15 oz.) salsa verde
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds - I didn't add this and it turned out just fine
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus some leaves

1.Trim as much of the excess pork fat as you can, I left a little on for flavor. I also seasoned the meat with salt and pepper before adding the marinade.
2. I then placed the meat in the crock pot container and added the chicken stock, salsa verde, onions, cumin and oregano and then put the pot in the fridge with the lid on for 4 - 6 hours to marinade - this is NOT necessary, I just had the ingredients ahead of time
3. Just before going to bed, I put the pot back in the crock pot and turned it on low for 8 hours
4. When I woke up I left the meat sitting in the crock pot warming until I was ready to brown it (please note - your house will smell like a Mexican taco stand if you cook it over night)
5. To brown the meat I heated the oven to 375 degrees and then placed the meat in a pyrex dish and let cook for about 30 minutes, just until the meat began to brown and crisp on the edges.
6. In the mean time I removed the fat from the juice left in the crock pot and boiled the juices for about 20 minutes, stirring often, until the sauce reduced to about 2 1/2 cups and was a thick consistency
7. I shredded the meat with 2 forks, and added in the sauce and mixed until all of the pieces were covered. I then sprinkled the cilantro on top of the meat.
8. I served the pork with hot flour tortillas (corn is an option too - I just like flour better), sour cream (I added lime juice to the sour cream), cheddar cheese, salsa and lettuce.

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1 comment:

  1. I'm confirming this post, THESE WERE AMAZING!!!! I had just had carnitas at a restaurant the night before and they weren't nearly as moist and flavorful as Margaret's version on Sunday.

    Job well done, this recipe is a keeper!