Sunday, February 13, 2011

Carnitas Tacos My Way

Tacos are basically any filling in a corn or flour tortilla, most often meats with a form of salsa.
My favorite is Carnitas which is pork that has been slowly cooked in lard 'till falling apart tender and crispy. That type of cooking liquid is fine sometimes when you want the real thing, but in a effort to be more healthy I often cook my pork in a flavorful stock. I make my tacos using little four inch corn tortillas. I add a generous scoop of crispy pork, guacamole and pickled onions to finish. I could maybe eat a dozen of these and always enjoy with a good cold Mexican beer.


1 pork butt
2 quarts water or chicken stock
1 yellow onion, rough chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
3 Bay leaves
2-3 of your favorite dry chillies (Ancho, Guajillo, Chipotle, etc)
1-2 Tablespoons kosher salt

1. The pork butt can be browned before cooking, but not necessary.
2. Add all ingredients to a heavy oven proof pot with lid or pressure cooker.
3. If using a conventional pot, bring to a boil, cover and place in 300F oven for about three hours.
4. If using a pressure cooker, cover and lock lid, bring up to pressure and turn heat down so that it is gently hissing steam. Cook about one and a half hours.
5. The meat at this time will be falling apart tender and can be shredded for tacos. Check seasonings and adjust if necessary.
6. For a crispy texture saute the cooked shredded meat in a nonstick pan with a dash of vegetable oil.

Note: Please follow all safety instructions if using pressure cooker, and save the cooking liquid for other uses like cooking beans to serve along side the tacos.

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