We love our Mexican food at the Wilkes house. Recently I came across a list of the top ten taquerias in Portland. We had eaten at 7 of them and are working our way through the other three. We love a good taco. I could pretty much eat tacos every day! When we go out for tacos I always order carnitas tacos. They are my favorite!! Although I can’t pass up a good fish taco either.
One of the things I like best about today’s recipe for pork carnitas besides their amazing flavor is their versitility. You can do so many things with it. Tacos are always a good choice but you can stuff a burrito with it, fill a quesadilla or shred them and put them on nachos is another one of my favorites.
The process to perfect pork carnitas is an easy one. I used a pork shoulder roast and cut it into cubes. Brown the meat in some hot oil or lard in dutch oven to begin with along with some garlic and onion.
Add in some springs of fresh thyme and then pour in a mixture of water, orange juice, bay leaves, oregano and crushed red pepper. I also added in some sprigs of fresh Oregano from my herb garden.
Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer for two hours – watch your liquid level to make sure it doesn’t all evaporate. Add in some additional liquid if needed. Remove lid and let it boil gently uncovered for another 20 minutes or until liquid is evaporated.
When ready to serve put the pork into a large frying pan with some oil and cook until the meat gets crispy around the edges. This is the really important part. Those crispy edges are the best!
As I said above, this pork has so many uses but I think my favorite way to eat it is with a fork and a side of lime cilantro rice!
We also enjoy it with a side of scrambled eggs for breakfast. I like to shred up the pork really good and then fry it till it is nice and crispy. So good!!
- 3 lbs. boneless pork shoulder roast, cut into 1½ inch pieces
- 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
- ½ C chopped onion
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 C water
- ½ C orange juice (reconstituted)
- 4 springs fresh oregano
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp Mexican Oregano
- ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 Tbsp oil for frying
- In a 4-5 qt. dutch oven or heavy pan cook meat in 2 Tbsp oil. Single layer at a time. Turn to brown evenly on all sides.
- Remove meat and add in onion and garlic, cook until onion is tender.
- Return meat to pan and add in water, orange juice, fresh oregano, salt, dried oregano, red pepper and bay leaves.
- Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer covered for 2 hours. Check to make sure liquid doesn't totally evaporate. Add additional water if needed.
- Then remove lid and simmer an additional 20 minutes uncovered or until liquid evaporates. Stir occassionally.
- Remove fresh oregano and bay leaves.
- When ready to serve heat 1 Tbsp oil in a frying pan and add carnitas in single layer. Cook until meat begins to get crispy around the edges.
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