Passport to Flavor: Carnitas Tacos

What would Cinco de Mayo be without tacos?  It would definitely not be as exciting in my book!

I’ve always been a little daunted by carnitas but I finally came up with an easy way to get the crispy bits we all love.  Just a few minutes under the broiler does the trick. Wrap it up in some tortillas with all the fixings and you won’t be sorry, trust me!

Whip up some tomatillo salsa, Mexican street corn, guacamole, and a mezcal cocktail and you’ve got quite the fiesta!  And don’t forget dessert!

Carnitas Tacos

Lard or canola oil
3 lb. pork roast or bone-in country style pork ribs (cut into large cubes if you’re using a roast)
2 oranges, quartered
2 bay leaves
1 Tablespoon achiote paste
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 Tablespoon Mexican oregano
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1 cup chicken stock
Salt & pepper
To serve: corn tortillas, tomatillo salsa, chopped onions, radishes, queso fresco, cilantro, crema

Preheat oven to 325°.

In a large Dutch oven with a lid, heat ½ cup canola oil or lard over medium-high heat. Season pork with a generous sprinkle of salt & pepper. Working in batches, add pork to the pan, being careful not to crowd the pan. Brown on all sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove pork to a plate and cook in batches until all pork is done.

Reduce heat to medium. Add achiote, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and garlic cloves. Stir and cook about one minute or until fragrant. Deglaze the pan with chicken stock. Add the pork back to the pan. Add bay leaves. Squeeze the juice from the oranges over the pork and nestle the quarters between the meat.

Cover and bake for about 2 hours or until pork can easily be pulled apart. Take the pot out of the oven and heat the broiler. Remove pork from liquid and shred or cut into big chunks. Spread in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Remove bay leaves and oranges from the reserved liquid. Bring to a boil over medium heat (the pan is super hot be careful!) and reduce until thick. Pour sauce over pork.

Broil pork for about 5 minutes or until you see lots of dark crispy bits.

Serve with tortillas, chopped onions, tomatillo salsa, queso fresco, radishes, crema, cilantro, lime wedges.

Source: Ruth’s Table, 2019.IMG_20190316_193306_634.jpg

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