One of the best meats to have on hand for street tacos, enchiladas, hard roll sandwiches or as a topping for eggs, in my opinion, is shredded pork. Specifically, carnitas. The Mexican flavor of carnitas is so savory and complex, yet soft. I just love it. I usually make it with lemon, onion, and beer, which is pretty yummy. However, once I came across this recipe by Ashlea Carver Adams of the blog "All the Healthy Things", I had to try her Crispy Pork Carnitas. The take away? I should have made double.
"A scattering of cotija cheese and some warm corn tortillas is all you need..."
Notes: Canola oil may be subbed for avocado oil.
CRISPY PORK CARNITAS
Ingredients: 1 Tbsp. avocado oil, 2.5 lbs. pork shoulder (Boston butt)- cut into large chunks, 6 cloves fresh garlic, 3/4 cup chicken broth, 1/4 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup lime juice, 1 large white onion-chopped, 1 Tbsp. cumin, 2-3 bay leaves, 1 Tbsp. dried oregano, 1/2 Tbsp. paprika, 1 tsp. pink sea salt, 1 tsp. red pepper flakes (opt.)
1. Preheat oven to 300* or heat a slow cooker on high.
2. Heat a dutch oven or large skillet over medium-high heat. While the dutch oven is heating, sprinkle the pork pieces liberally with salt. Once dutch oven is hot, add avocado oil. Add in pork and sear for 4-5 minutes on each side until browned.
3. In a bowl, mix the garlic, chicken broth, onion, orange juice, lime juice, bay leaves, and spices. Stir, then add to dutch oven with pork. If using a slow cooker, put pork into the cooker, and pour over the braising liquid.
4. Place dutch oven into oven at 300* and braise for 3 hours. (or cook in slow cooker on high for 4 hours, until meat is fork-tender.)
5. Once pork is tender and shreddable, remove from your dutch oven or slow cooker and transfer to sheet pan. Use two forks to shred the meat and then pour the remaining braising liquid back over the meat.
6. Broil the carnitas in the oven on high until browned and crispy. Serve!
Tip: Serve with fresh torn cilantro on top.