Carnitas made from a pork shoulder cooked slowly in the oven produces the most tender meat that is full of flavor. Eat by itself or wrapped up in a tortilla.
We are far from the border in NC and it’s pretty hard to find good Tex-Mex food which I love. I’ve never tried carnitas, but I like barbecue so thought I should give them a try. I had to hang around the house for a while so I called the butcher and he cut a pork shoulder for me, without trimming the fat as requested. I’ve never cooked a pork shoulder so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It didn’t have very much fat on it but you need a little to keep this from sticking and to make it taste so delicious. So I cut it up, covered it with water and put it on the stove for 2 hours.
It was cooking away and making the house smell wonderful when I went out on the patio to read and kind of forgot about it. I opened the door a while later and smelled an awful burnt smell. The water had cooked out completely and there was a thick black layer on the bottom of the pan. I was heart broken but thought I could still salvage some of the meat. I took out all that was not blackened and put what I hoped was still good in a clean pan. I scraped up all the meat that was a little black from the bottom and put that aside.
When my family came back they starting eating what I considered to be the burnt part and were raving about how good it was. It didn’t taste burnt! So I went ahead and put the non-burnt meat with a little water into the oven to see if it would get a little crispy. It turned out great. I can’t imagine how good this would have been had I not burnt the onions. It was very easy to make and while taking a couple of hours on the stove, less than 2 actually, it was so tender and had a great flavor. Give this a try, but just don’t let the water cook out of your pan!Print
- Category: Entree
- 3–4 pounds pork shoulder, untrimmed, cut into 2 inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons bacon grease/lard
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 whole bulb garlic, smashed and peeled
- 2 limes lime juice
- 4 bay leaves
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Put bacon grease in the bottom of a large oven proof pot with lid. Put onions and garlic in next. Add meat and then remaining ingredients. Cover with water 1/2 inch over the top of the meat.
- Bring to a boil over high heat and reduce to medium high. Continue cooking, uncovered, until most of the water is cooked out, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Cover the pot and place it in a 450º oven and cook for about 30 minutes or until browned and tender. Check on it every few minutes to make sure it does not burn. Remove the bay leaves.
- Shred the meat with a fork and serve with tortillas and desired toppings.
- Butter, Bacon, Cheese, Garlic