Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Carnitas Tacos

I made this last night and it totally hit my Mexican craving!  I got the recipe from one of my all-time favorite cookbooks and I doubled the recipe to make leftovers.  This was more time consuming than I thought (the total cook time for the pork was more than an hour) but for me, the home cooked meal was worth the cook time. 

From The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters
Makes 4 servings

Cut into 1 inch cubes:
1 1/2 lbs boneless pork shoulder
Place the meat in a wide heavy-bottomed pan in a single layer.  Add water to just cover the meat.
Stir in:
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsps fresh lime juice
Bring to a simmer, cover the pan, and cook gently until tender, about 45 minutes.  Take off the lid, turn up the heat, and allow the liquid to boil away.  When the meat begins to sizzle, turn down the heat, and fry gently 'til golden . Remove the meat from the pan and allow the excess fat to drain off.  Taste  for salt and add more if needed.

This shows the pork simmering in water over the stove in the dutch oven.

For the fillings, I chopped up cilantro and a sweet maui onion.  I've noticed that normally tortillas have SO many preservatives so I made the trek to Cardena's on the way home for fresh salsas and fresh blue corn tortillas (they make fresh tortillas every day).  It was my first time in the store (usually Mat will go there to pick up stuff) and the workers totally looked at me as a complete foreigner but I still love Cardena's!

Gracie normally wants to play fetch while I cook and you can see how focused she is on the tennis ball!  So I threw the ball around for her while I waited for the pork to simmer.  She is the best company.

The pork changes from the picture on the left to the picture on the right.  The water evaporates and the pork begins to fry in its own fat.

When I was done frying, I laid the pork on a baking sheet with paper towels to soak up the oil like the recipe said.

I quickly toasted the tortillas with a little bit of canola oil on medium high heat with a non-stick pan.

Dinner time at our house!  Mat is assembing his tacos.

We love using two types of salsa to eat tacos and we also love avocado.

The perfect bite!  =)

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