This dish is really simple,uses a cheap cut of meat and it's sooo good!Carnitas mean "little meats "in spanish.Growing up in So Cal there is an abundance of mexican joints in every city or so it seems so i have had my share.Anyway this recipe was handed down to me from a friend's grandma i have added my own touch like i do to almost all the recipes i come upon.This could be stripped down to just simple salted and braised meat.I love spice so i kicked it up i also used stock instead of water.Another and more traditional way is to fry the meat in a huge pot of lard with orange slices and a coca-cola added to help caramelize it but thats for another time..here we go!
4 pounds pork butt(or shoulder,country style or picnic they are the same cut)
1 1/2 cups beef stock
1 shallot thin sliced
3 cloves garlic thin sliced
3 bay leaves
2 dry guajillo peppers
1 tbls chili powder
1/2 tsp ground corriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
First salt and pepper the meat and dust with a light coat of flour
now add about a heaping tablespoon of lard to a hot pan and brown the meat on all sides.turning it until its nice and golden
once it's browned pull it out to a plate.this is what the French call fond,crusty brown goodness!
now saute the shallot first for about 3 min then add garlic and saute 1 min more,add spices,peppers and bay leaves to the stock,then deglaze pan with the stock making sure to scrape the pan clean and get all of that brown goodness off the bottom
now pop the pork back into the pan and put it in a 350 oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until fork tender this picture is after 2 1/2 hours the fat has rendered and the stock has been evaporated
now pull meat out of pan and let cool,meanwhile strain the fat so the garlic and shallot don't burn
once the meat has cooled a bit shred it by hand into bite size pieces and add the fat back to a hot pan.i switched to a non stick at this point
fry the meat until it's crispy
now make it into your favorite taco,tostada,enchilada or what ever dish you like..it tastes great with a little heat..Enjoy!