Friday, May 6, 2011


Last night we had carnitas at the potluck.  I looked around the web at a bunch of recipes, and picked various features I liked from several: here is what I actually cooked:

Carnitas, my adaptation of several recipes

6 lb pork shoulder, boneless (I had a few bones I removed)
1 quart chicken stock
Orange juice
Zest of an orange
1 small can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 stick cinnamon
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Cut the pork into 1-2 inch cubes. Put in a heavy pot, add the chicken stock, and enough orange juice to cover the meat.  Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, stir and reduce the heat to simmer.  Simmer uncovered for 3 hours, and add more salt to taste.  The pork should be very tender.

At this point, I still had a lot of liquid left, and the recipe I was using suggested that it should mostly have reduced away by now.  So, instead of slavishly following the recipe, I heated the oven to 450, removed the pork from the liquid, placing it in a roasting dish, and turned the heat on the liquid up to high.
I put the pork into the oven, turning it occasionally, until it crispened up nicely.  When the sauce was reduced to about a cup or two of thick liquid, I added it to the pork, and stirred it to distribute it well.

Served with small corn tortillas, a feast fit for a Cinco de Mayo celebration.

Yours, happy to share my happiness!

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