I love making a recipe for the first time. I relish in the focus and intensity that it takes to make a new dish. There is such promise! Will it become a new favorite? The memory of that first time sticks with you and it becomes part of your story.
I also love the way learning new techniques can change the way you look at other recipes. The layering of knowledge allows for more flexibility and creativity in the kitchen. I think of it as a culinary adventure right from my own home.
And being the first of May, I thought that pork carnitas would be the perfect fit. I have been eying this recipe from Epicurious.com. The pork is braised and then fried in its own fat (!!!) on the stove top. The meat was juicy and full of flavor, yet crispy and not soggy. I loved the addition of the citrus.
I don’t have a dutch oven, so I braised the meat in my largest pot on the stove and then transferred it to a casserole dish for the oven. This recipe did not disappoint! It will definitely be made again and soon.
Recipe from Epicurious.com. This recipe makes A LOT of pork but for me this is not a problem. We will be eating these throughout the week. You will end up with most of a can of sweetened condensed milk, but I see that as a bonus. Give yourself time to cut up the pork, this was the most time consuming part of preparing this recipe.
- 4 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 3 cups water
- 1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 orange, cut into 2 pieces
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 4 teaspoons kosher salt
Mix all the ingredients in a large pot or dutch over over medium high heat and bring the water to a boil. You will notice the mixture start to foam and to create a white “scum”. Skim this off with a spoon. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer vigorously, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 – 2 hours until all the liquid is evaporated. Once the liquid is close to evaporated, preheat your oven to 450°F and stir more often. Transfer the meat to an oven safe dish, if needed, and place in a single layer in the pan. Brown the meat for 20-30 minutes. Serve on corn tortillas topped with salsa, sour cream, and cilantro. Enjoy!