Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pork Carnitas Tacos

Inspired by Midge's search for the perfect taco (she'll start a blog on that soon), I decided to try to make carnitas tacos for the first time. It went okay, as you'll see.

First, I bought a pork roast, and chopped it into manageable chunks. I coated the chunks in rough sea salt.

Then I browned the pork chunks in a skillet, over medium-high heat.

After the meat chunks were browned, I put them in a pan with the braising liquid. I used orange juice, with chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, and salt. Then I put it in the oven for 3 hours at 250 degrees.

Now, I had three hours to wait while the pork cooked. We would be eating a late dinner, so I made pico de gallo with fresh tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and lemon juice.

Once that was ready, I was able to make the guacamole. I mashed 2 avocados in a bowl, then added a big scoop of pico, lemon juice, and salt. It was really good.

After snacking for a while and thoroughly enjoying the Civil War, The pork was just about ready. I took it out, drained the juice and shredded the meat with a couple of forks. I put the meat in the pan, drenched it in lemon juice, and put it back in the oven at 350 degrees. The idea is to crisp the outside of the meat and leave the inside moist. I didn't leave it in quite long enough, and I also forgot to take pictures of this step. I also pan-fried my tortillas, with almost no oil.

Then I assemled the tacos. I put a healthy portion of pork, some shredded monterey jack cheese, and some of that pico de gallo on the tortillas.

The tacos were really good. Next time I'd use a little less cinnamon, I'd start earlier so I could braise the meat longer, and I'd leave it in the oven at the end longer so it would be crispier. But I can't complain. It was a good first effort. I give these tacos eight slow-cooked bites of satisfaction.


emmo said...

That looks pretty freaking awesome, dude... I love me some pork tacos. =)

I always use lime instead of lemon in my pico de gallo and guac (and add a couple roasted serrano chiles to my guac just for fun). Do you prefer lemons, or was that just what was on hand?

Max Power said...

I generally use limes, too. But Midge bought a big bag of lemons for her lemon meringue pie for Thanksgiving, so we're working our way through them. We also made lemon drops, using your recipe.

Midge said...
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