Well, I missed the Cinco de Mayo train with this recipe. I was getting ready to post this last Sunday, but I got into a cleaning mood all Sunday morning and completely cleaned every surface in my house. I even vacuumed my balcony. Who does that? It was one of those moments when your realize that you are totally turning into your mom. I am having those a lot lately!
I feel like May is going by so fast. I was shocked the other day that it was already May and now we are already halfway through. We are on summer time already apparently. I know it’s no longer Cinco de Mayo, but one of the great thing about Mexican food is that you can eat it all year round.
Since I have moved to California, Carnitas have become my favorite kind of taco. What are Carnitas you ask? Carnitas are the Mexican version of pulled pork. The pork is shredded and then cooked a little longer to caramelize. What’s better than carnitas? Well I would say carnitas in a corn tortilla topped with salsa verde and your choice of pickled onions or cabbage slaw. Oh yeah, that’s what I am talking about.
- 4-6 lbs. bone-in pork shoulder
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 orange, juiced
- 1 teaspoon chile powder
- 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- Kosher salt
- The night before- Cut pork shoulder into 3-4 inch pieces, trimming off the excess fat. Sprinkle pieces of the the pork with kosher salt and stick in a large sealable bag to refrigerate overnight.
- The day of- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- In a large Dutch oven or pot heat oil over medium-high heat. Sear pork pieces on all sides about 2-3 minutes on each side. You may need to do this in 2 parts to lay all the pork pieces down flat. Remove the browned pork to a plate.
- In a 1 cup measuring cup squeeze a lime and orange and fill remaining cup with water. Pour into the Dutch oven and scrape the brown bits off the bottom. Add in chili powders, bay leaves, cumin, garlic, onions, and a pinch of kosher salt to the liquid. Return the pork back into the pot and then add water so that ⅔rds of pork is covered.
- Place in oven to cook for 2½ to 3 hours without a lid. Turn the pork a few times during the cooking time. The pork is cooked when most of the liquid is gone and pork falls apart easily with a fork.
- Shred the pork with two forks. Return pork back to the oven and cook until pork crispy and caramelized. This will take 15-20 minutes.
- 1 red onion, sliced thin
- ½ cup vinegar, apple cider or white
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1½ tsp. Kosher salt
- Mix vinegar, warm water, sugar and salt in a small bowl until sugar is dissolved. Add onions into a mason jar or sealable container. Add vinegar mixture to jar and refrigerate for at least day.
- 1 cup Shredded red cabbage
- juice from ½ lime
- fresh cracked salt and pepper, to taste
- In a container stir together cabbage, lime juice, salt and pepper. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.