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Carnitas Means “Little Meats” and Big Flavor

Roasted Pork Shoulder for Carnitas

Roasted Pork Shoulder for Carnitas

We love Mexican cuisine, everything from fish tacos to chicken mole to the traditional Chiles en nogada. This weekend we made carnitas. This dish requires a pork shoulder. Naturally, in Costco fashion, the only pork shoulder available was over 14 pounds. So we cut the large piece in half and froze half. We trimmed the meat of most of the excess fat, then salted it. It’s best to then refrigerate for a day before beginning on the prep.

Here is our recipe for easy carnitas that earned rave reviews from our guests:

5 pounds pork shoulder (after trimming fat)
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
Canola oil
1 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon Gary’s Rub (from Cook the Part, page 26)
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
6 cloves garlic

Heat oven to 325 degrees on convection roast.
Cut the pork shoulder into 6 inch chunks.
Heat a few tablespoons canola oil in large iron skillet on the stove top. Brown the pork pieces until well-browned. Add chicken broth to the frying pan and scrape all the browned bits from the frying pan and add to the roaster.
Generously sprinkle the rub on the browned pork.
Place the browned pork pieces into a large roasting pan.
Add the cinnamon stock, bay leaves, cumin and garlic to the roasting pan. Add water to the pan until the pork is about 2/3 covered with the liquid.
Roast for 4 hours or until liquid cooks down and pork falls apart when probed with a fork.
Remove pork from the liquid and shred, discarding any additional fat.
Place in a large roasting pan and pour a few tablespoons of liquid over the meat.
Cover with foil and refrigerate.
Before serving, remove the foil and heat in the oven in 350 degree oven until warm or crisp up as much as desired.
Serve with guacamole, chopped red cabbage, red onion, black beans, purchased or homemade salsas.
We served this with warmed corn tortillas or lettuce to be used for lettuce wraps.

Good with a fresh Mexican salad to start.

2013-04-15T08:44:36+00:00 April 15th, 2013|Entree, Recipes|