mmm… Carnitas

A somewhat untraditional take on carnitas adapted from The Well Filled Tortilla Cookbook.

3 pounds cubed pork shoulder
1/2 bottle of pilsner
2 bay leaves
1 tsp oregano
5 garlic cloves
salt and pepper to taste

Simmer pork in the beer for 2 – 3 hours in a covered dutch oven. Uncover and cook for another hour over low heat. Stir meat every 10 minute or so. The pork should start to fall apart into shreds. Salt and pepper to taste. You do want to cook it until all the liquid is gone and then it gets a some time to fry in its own fat.

Serve pork in tortillas with your favorite condiments. Tonight was finely diced red onions, some cojita and salsa verde. YUM.

It’s one of the best bits of working from home. I can decide at lunch time that I want to make something that’s going to take a few hours and actually make it. I started around 3 and we ate around 7. But for this you just throw everything in the pot and let it cook slowly. I suspect it would work very, very well in a slow cooker, too. Just leave it on low all day and then when you get home from work uncover it to let the liquid evaporate. Or you will want to finish it on the stove over heat.

This is not, in any way, a traditional carnitas recipe. That takes much, much more pork fat.

The other thing about this is that for the first 3 or so hours of cooking the cubes of pork are like superballs. Seriously. They look like they’re never going to soften. Making carnitas like this is a matter of faith. You have to believe the pork will eventually stop being bouncy and turn into something lovely and edible. I’ve made it any number of times and still get to the 2 – 2 1/2 hour mark and start worrying about whether or not it’s actually going to turn into something edible.

But it always does and I have over 2 pounds of lovely shredded pork. Yum.

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