Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Carnitas (Crispy Pork)

4 lbs. boneless country-style pork ribs
2 cups (or more) water
1 ½ cups fresh orange juice
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional)
1 teaspoon grated orange peel (optional)
¼ cup brandy

Warm corn tortillas
Guacamole and Salsa
Cheese (Cheddar and/or Monterey Jack), grated
Green Onions, diced
Tomatoes, diced
Sour cream

Cut pork pieces crosswise into thirds. Cut off any big chunks of fat from pork and reserve; leave small pieces of fat attached to pork. Combine pork, reserved fat, 2 cups water, and next 4 ingredients in a deep 12-inch skillet (I used a large Dutch Oven instead). Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until pork is tender, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours. Add more water by ¼ cupfuls if necessary to keep pork partially submerged.

Uncover; boil pork mixture until liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Stir in brandy; boil until liquid evaporates and meat browns and begins to get crisp, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Cool meat slightly. Discard any loose pieces of fat. Tear meat into strips; return to skillet (I was able to shred the meat in the pan with a wooden spoon, it was that tender).

Add 2 tablespoons water to skillet. Cover and re-warm pork over medium-low heat, stirring, about 5 minutes. Transfer to serving bowl. Serve with warm tortillas, guacamole, salsa, cheese, tomatoes, onions and sour cream.

Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Re-warm with a couple of tablespoons of water, as in previous step.

Servings: 8


I no longer include the salt (too salty the first time I made it!) and I've never included the grated orange peel.

This makes quite a lot of carnitas, which is wonderful for leftovers. I freeze a few cups in individual containers and simply re-warm the defrosted pork in a skillet over medium-heat.

I may try to add some flavor to the pork next time by substituting 1 cup of the water with chicken broth. Also, a few dashes of cumin in the pot might be good. This is not at all spicy!

Modified from original recipe in Bon Appétit (May 2003)

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At 7:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! I have been looking for this recipe for months! I made this when the recipe was printed in Bon Appetit and loved it. I'll have to try shredding mine a little more. Yours looked so yummy! Karen

At 7:39 AM, Blogger Les said...

Karen - Glad you were able to find the recipe. It's one of my favorites. I keep thinking I might try it with chicken one of these days.

Thanks for visiting.


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