Thursday, August 29, 2013

oven baked pork carnitas

So this recipe takes a little while to cook, but the prep and put together couldn't be more simple, and it's so delicious! The only drawback is the long cook time makes you sooo hungry! The smell coming from your oven will be spectacular.
This is some pork shoulder that was already pre-cut into chunks at my local grocery. I usually would suggest you use pork shoulder or pork butt, but no loin- it's too lean. Add to the pork about a cup and a half of water, bay leaves, one whole onion cut into quarters, the juice of a lime, the juice of an orange and the orange halves, 4 cloves of garlic and plenty of salt and pepper. Cover this up and say goodbye for 2 hours... at 300 degrees. You will not believe how tender this is going to be.
This is what will be greeting you 2 hours later. Pitch the bay leaves and the orange halves at this point, and remove the pork cubes. Gently, because they will be falling apart tender.
Here's the liquid you should have left. The garlic will smoosh very easily, so go ahead and do that. You can cook this liquid further in the pan you already are using...
I transferred mine into a small sauce pan. Let this come to a simmer and keep it going for about 10 minutes to reduce.
The transferred carnitas, on the other hand, are going back into the oven. Pop on the broiler and pass these into the oven to crisp up, for about 10 minutes. Make sure you turn them about half way through to get them crispy and caramelized on all sides.
Oh yes. Only one more step.
Pour the reduced cooking liquid alllllll over the carnitas. You can eat these little delights as is, over rice, in a tortilla... however you want! I don't even add cheese to the tortilla, just a little tomatilla salsa and it's good to go!
Pork Carnitas
2 lbs cubed pork butt or shoulder
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 orange, sliced in half
1 lime, juiced
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a casserole dish with a lid, combine pork, cumin, salt and pepper, onion, lime juice, orange juice and spent halves, garlic, bay leaves and water. Cover and place in preheated oven. Cook for 2 hours, or until pork is fork tender. Remove from oven. Preheat broiler of oven to high. Remove pork from cooking liquid and place on an baking pan. Remove bay leaves and orange halves from liquid and discard. Smash garlic into liquid and transfer to a small sauce pan. Cook over medium heat to a simmer. Simmer on medium uncovered for 10 minutes to thicken. Meanwhile, place baking dish with pork under the broiler and cook on high for 10 minutes, turning halfway through to crisp all sides. Remove from oven. Pour cooking liquid over the pork. Enjoy with tortillas or rice!