Thursday, September 29, 2011

Carnitas Tacos

It's been a few weeks now since I made these taco's but I still think about them with a gurgling stomach. Just imagining them makes me want to forget the fact that I've already made dinner for tonight (left overs),head on out to the store to get the ingredients and start the 5 hour long process. Mmmm....Carnitas!!
This recipe, though it took a while, was totally worth it! As you may have noticed i go through phases where i have what i call my "obsessions." during these phases i can't stop thinking about a certain dish until i make it. These Carnitas tacos we're my latest "obsession." Starting out i knew i wanted to make these as authentic as i could so i searched around til i came across the perfect recipe. I wasn't sure at first about using lard but let me tell you, it gave the meat the perfect crisp on the outside and juicy tenderness on the inside. It made about 2 or 3 nights worth of meals so i would highly recommend making it for a gathering, perhaps make a little taco bar out of it and serve with homemade Horchata.    

Carnitas Tacos
Adapted from Emeril Lagasse, food network

3 Lbs Pork Shoulder or other thick/meaty pork cut
2 Lbs of Lard, enough to cover the meat
1/4 C. Water
Zest of 1 orange, peeled with a vegetable peeler.
Zest of 1 Lime, peeled with peeler.
3 Cloves of Garlic, with peel on.
1/2 Tsp Coarse salt
12 or more soft corn tortillas
2 Tbs Vegetable oil

Serve with
Guacamole (my favorite is Ezra Poundcake's), prepare in advance (up to 1 day).

Trim the fat of the meat (as much as you can).
Melt lard over medium-low heat in a large saucepan, Add in to warm, (not hot) lard, the water, lime and orange zests, salt, garlic and pork. Bring to a simmer and let it continue to simmer for about 2 hours or until the meat is tender (if it takes longer than the 2 hours you can add a little water and keep simmering until the meat is tender).
Then turn up the heat to medium-high and boil (will be a rolling boil at first but will eventually change to small bubbles) until meat crisps on the outside and is a light golden brown, about  25-30 minutes.
while the meat is crisping, heat oven and warm up tortillas. 
Remove the meat from the pot and shred with two forks, pulling the meat apart in opposite directions.
Serve with Guacamole, Chopped Cilantro, lime wedges, Pico De Gallo etc..

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