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Carnita

January 17, 2010


I made these awhile back, they were delicious and so moist and juicy. I loved it! I am not a big pork eater usually; the Husband is so I try really hard to incorporate it into our diet every now and then. I think I was influenced by my mum. She hated it, has never liked pork at all, so we very rarely had it. On a few occasions in my life we had some roasted pork – crackling and apple sauce but for the most part we never had it.

I always try to do something with the pork that will appeal to me, it’s not so much that I don’t enjoy the flavour, because I do. In small amounts, but I just never seem to enjoy it in more than 2 mouthful quantities. The Husband, always orders sweet & sour pork when we go chinese takeaway (and thai if they have it) he will ask for pork ribs over beef ribs, pork sausage is his favourite – do you get the picture? So when I saw this recipe and envisioned the ways it could be all moist and good I had to give it a go. Pleased I did I must say!

Carnitas


4-5-pounds boneless pork should, cut into 5-inch chunks, trimmed of excess fat
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons canola oil
water
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoon chile powder
2 bay leaves
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly-sliced

1. Rub the pieces of pork shoulder all over with salt.
2. Heat the oil in a roasting pan set on the stovetop. Cook the pieces of pork shoulder in a single layer until very well-browned, turning them as little as possible so they get nice and dark before flipping them around.
3. Once all the pork is browned, remove them from the pot and blot away any excess fat with a paper towel, then pour in about a cup of water, scraping the bottom of the pan with a flat-edged utensil to release all the tasty brown bits.
4. Heat the oven to 180C degrees.
5. Add the pork back to the pan and add enough water so the pork pieces are 2/3rd’s submerged in liquid. Add the cinnamon stick and stir in the chile powders, bay leaves, cumin and garlic.
7. Braise in the oven uncovered for 3½ hours, turning the pork a few times during cooking, until much of the liquid is evaporated and the pork is falling apart. Remove the pan from the oven and lift the pork pieces out of the liquid and set them on a platter.
8. Once the pork pieces are cool enough to handle, shred them into bite-sized pieces, about 2-inches (7 cm), discarding any obvious big chunks of fat if you wish.
9. Return the pork pieces back to the roasting pan and cook in the oven, turning occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and the pork is crispy and caramelized. It will depend on how much liquid the pork gave off, and how crackly you want them.

Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz.

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