Thursday, January 2, 2014

Simple perfection.

The new year dawned cold and grey, the kind of day best spent tucked up indoors. Glad I planned ahead and stocked up: beef bacon and poached eggs for breakfast; long, slow-cooking pork carnitas for dinner. The smell of pork shoulder melting into a chili- and citrus-spiked broth in the oven filled the apartment all day, chasing the chills away. Simple perfection for a lazy new year’s day.

Take a three to four pound piece of pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into big cubes and toss it into a Dutch oven with a half cup of orange juice, a quarter cup of lime juice, some peeled and crushed garlic cloves, spices ( a bit of cumin, chili powders, cinnamon if you want, salt definitely) and enough water to almost but not quite cover the pork. Cook uncovered in a 350 degree oven for a good three or four hours, turning occasionally until the liquid has mostly evaporated and the pork is happily falling to shreds. Remove from oven and place the pot on the stovetop on medium high heat and cook until the remaining liquid has vanished and the pork is acquires a crispy character. Serve with fresh corn tortillas, avocado, pickled red onions, hotsauce, Mexican crema or sour cream and ice cold beer.

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