Carnitas

Carnitas

The last couple of weeks have definitely taken their toll on my time – I realized yesterday afternoon that it was the last Friday of the month, and not still mid-March. This realization was closely followed with realizing that there was a DVP Meet & Greet that night as well. Sadly, I was far too exhausted to go – and since I also forgot to send out reminder emails, I think it’s probably a safe bet that hardly anyone else went either, which I feel terrible about. However, after I sent out an apology email, I promptly fell asleep and am now feeling much, much better. I think getting a little bit of relaxing and downtime in definitely made a big difference. Even if the late evening nap means that now my sleep schedule is scrooooed again.

When I woke up, I decided that I wanted to cook (big surprise), that I wanted to try making some thing that I had never made before, and that I wanted to use the Pork Shoulder I’d picked up at Costco earlier this week (for $1.89 a pound!!!) I remembered bookmarking this post on The Paupered Chef (one of the cooking blogs I’ve started following recently) a while back and at about 1 A.M. started frying up some crispy, meaty goodness.

Unfortunately, I did not have any Lard, (which is what they used at the Paupered Chef), but I did have (nearly) a gallon of Safflower oil that I had previously used for frying french fries. It may have been better to use lard, but I’m one to use what’s on hand than make a special trip to the store. And besides, I didn’t really have space for the Safflower oil in my fridge, and with the weather warming up (yippee!), I’m disinclined to have it sitting out in the pantry any longer. So better to use it up.

Anyhow, the Carnitas came out delicious. In all the years and ways I’ve made pork shoulder, I have never made pork shoulder this delicious. Many times I have tried and despaired of ever capturing that special taqueria flavor. Seriously – I will maybe never purchase a burrito again, this was so good. The outside was crisp and browned, the interior fork tender. Yes, it’s fried. Yes, it’s probably terrible for you (I don’t want to know – ignorance is bliss after all) but oh – what a party in the mouth. I will never look at pork shoulder quite the same again. Just trust me, you have to try this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs Pork Shoulder, cut in to 1 lb sections
  • 3-4 quarts Safflower Oil
  • 1 lime; juiced
  • 1/2 cup White Wine
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt

Method:

  • In a medium sized bowl, toss the pork shoulder in the lime juice, white wine and kosher salt. Set aside for 1 hour.
  • Pour oil in to a large, heavy pot (Recommend: 8 qt) and heat over high heat for 2-3 minutes
  • Using tongs, gently lower the meat chunks in to the hot oil – Be careful, it will boil furiously
  • Reduce heat incrementally until oil is bubbling/frying somewhere just below a rolling boil
  • Fry for 2 hours, or until meat is fork tender and Golden Brown.
  • Transfer Pork to a paper-towel lined plate and sprinkle with kosher salt, if desired
  • Serve with Tortillas & taco fixings if desired

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