It is no secret that we love pork. It is also no secret that we love braised meats. You can imagine how much we enjoy carnitas. Luckily for us, Jordan makes mean carnitas and I’m here to share his secrets with you.
(Later this week, we’ll mention another amazing mexican pork dish and where you can get the best of it in San Francisco. Hint: pineapple).
Because they are braised, pork carnitas are inherently easy – just sear and then cook low and slow. The only caveat: you have to be home for a few hours to monitor the oven and make sure the apartment doesn’t burn down.
Pork Carnitas Tacos
2 lbs pork shoulder
1/2 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
zest of an orange – the secret ingredient
2 cups broth
salt, pepper, chili flake
Diced onion, cilantro and salsa and corn tortillas for serving
Preheat an oven to 275 degrees. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Put some oil a dutch oven or other heavy pan and heat over medium high heat. Sear all sides of the pork shoulder and set aside. Saute the onions, carrot, celery and garlic until softened. Add the pork, orange zest and chili flake and fill the dish with about 2 cups of broth. You want the broth to go half way up the chunk of meat.
Place the meat in the oven. And let it slowly cook for 3 – 4 hours, flipping the meat half way through to ensure even cooking. After the meat is fork tender, remove it from the liquid and shred using two forks. Meanwhile, pour 1 cup of the braising liquid into a smaller sauce pan and reduce, until slightly thickened. Pour some of the braising liquid into the carnitas until they are moistened.
Serve these heavenly carnitas in hot corn tortillas with cilantro, onion and salsa. We also made a salad of jicama, radish and lettuce with a lime vinegarette to go along with the tacos.