Sunday, March 26, 2006

Car? Neat. As...? (Under Pressure 2)

Tried making Carnitas tonight. Couldn't find a recipe that "felt" legitimate to me, except a few on Food Network, which required slow-frying the pork in two pounds of lard. Given that I didn't have two pounds of lard, or the desire to fry pork in lard, I searched around for a "less traditional" recipe, since I'd made something similar in the past in the slow cooker.

Ended up going with this, which is a mix of a couple recipes:

  • 2 oranges, sliced
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • 5 lbs. of pork shoulder (butt - don't ask me why the shoulder's called the butt. I don't get it.)
  • ground cumin
  • coriander seeds
  • a fistful of cilantro
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth

Rubbed the meat with the cumin & coriander, salt & pepper, and browned on all sides. Put the fruit in the bottom of the cooker, and plopped the meat on top. Poured in the chicken broth, closed the cooker, and cooked for 18 minutes. After 18 minutes, removed the meat to find it nearly uncooked on the inside. Realized that I needed to cut the meat into chunks. Cut the meat into chunks, cooked for another 10 minutes, then shredded the meat with forks, and fried the shreds in a cast iron pan (enough fat still in the meat that additional fat was not required).

Ate with black beans, tortillas, cheese, salsa, and guacamole (all but the cheese bought from Trader Joe's).

The mistake in the recipe was that instead of the oranges, I should have used limes. The orange-yness of it is too strong, and not as acidic as limes would have been. In retrospect, the first time I ever made carnitas, it was with lime rind. So, I should have known better. Alas! It's still pretty tasty, it's just a little bit odd. Good texture, and good pork flavor. What's weird is that even the first burst of flavor is good, and the aftertaste is good - it's just a weird note in the middle that tastes distinctly orangey.


Blogger Angry Chad said...

"(butt - don't ask me why the shoulder's called the butt. I don't get it.)"

Good Eats tried to explain this in a show a few weeks back, and all I remember is not understanding what they hell they were talking about.

6:56 AM  
Blogger casacaudill said...

How juvenile am I that I always snicker when I ask for the pork butt at Whole Foods? Tee hee!

The carnitas recipe I grew up eating involved a crock pot, big old pork butt, salt, pepper, a pinch of cayenne or red pepper, and a bottle of beer. I've adapted it over the years so that it tastes more like kalua pork than carnitas. I'll have to try the frying up part at the end since I do love the crispiness.

- Becky

1:47 PM  

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