Good Carnitas Recipe

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Robert

Nov 30, 1919, 12:00 AM

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Good Carnitas Recipie
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I am trying to figure out the best cut of pork and preperation meathod to make carnitas. I grew up in San Diego and just sort of took it for granted. I like it stringy pork roast probably a little on the greasy side. The best I had was covered with a highly seasoned black outer crust that was dry but the center was very moist. Any help would be appreciated.

Chacha

Nov 30, 1919, 12:00 AM

Post #2 of 4 (35979 views)

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Vic posted a "carnitas" recipe a while back so I went into the archives and have copied his post:
BTW Vic and Rey …que pasa…long time no hear.
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RECIPE POSTED BY VIC:

Hola.

At the risk to be picked-on, dogged out, laughed at and questioned … here is something I learned from some friends down in Patzcuaro Michoacan a couple of years ago. And BTW, at the end, like I care huh !!! = )

Pork 4 lbs (a mix of shoulder, butt and ribs are a must)
The juice of 2 sour oranges (can be substituted with 2 regular oranges and 2 Limes)
3 ½ lbs of lard
3 to 4 cups of water
2 tbs. sea or rock salt
1 can of (I’ll tell you later…!!!)

OK, here we go: In a 2 to 3 gl (copper preferable) pot, place your water and 2 lbs of lard until boiling. (you’ll use more lard depending on the size and form of the pot) When this is boiling, reduce heat to small but constant bubbling, add the Shoulder and Butt in large chunks (about 1 to ½ lbs pieces will do but, do not cut smaller or they’ll shred to tiny pieces) Save the ribs for last.
Let the meat start to turn white all around and add your Salt and orange juice, stir gently but consistent for 1 minute to make sure the salt is dissolved and the juice incorporated. Every 2 to 10 minutes with a large wooden spoon (by large I mean at least 16” long) stir around your carnitas trying to turn over the chunks of meat. Be patient as this takes from 2 ½ to 4 hours to cook and you have to be there all the time to make sure the meat is always covered by lard. If you see the top of your meat is drying up, you can add more lard to it but DO NOT add any more water…. As the lard is cooking off, you’ll see a thick film sticking to the rim of the pot (if it’s a copper one, it’ll be kind of green) don’t wary, it’ll come off very easy. This is just the pork fat (yummy !) that is reacting to the salt and orange juice and evaporating. About 2 hours later you’ll see the liquid becomes thinner than when you started and it’ll change color to a light brown, at this point you’ll add your Ribs (previously seasoned with a bit of salt only). Now your stirring will have to be very, very gentle or the ribs will shred. With a large fork, test your carnitas for softness and color. They should be easy to fork but hard to remove the fork from. In addition, you may use a large knife to cut t the center of the largest chunk and check for a white pinkish color. This is when you add your last ingredient.
Get a can of regular “coke” and pour it in. (Yes, a can of Coca-Cola, not Pepsi, not Super Cola, not diet or anything else, just a room temperature can of regular Coke) Stir one more time (which by now your arm and shoulder must be craving this thing to be done already!) and wait 10 to 15 minutes. At this point is when you’ll look for a brown fried like color on your carnitas. The coke will act as a catalyzer to the Lard which will react by frying the carnitas at the time it cooks them. Why? I don’t know but the temperature seems to raise when the coke is added (weird huh?) Please make sure you keep an eye on it this last ½ hour or bad things might happen if unattended. Check for your Ribs first at all times and then the rest. You’ll know by the look and taste when to pull them out or remove the pot from the heat as your Carnitas are done.

Put your Carnitas in a large strainer for a minute or two and then place them in your serving tray. Cover them with foil to keep them moist and warm.

OK, now the do’s and don’ts :
Always use Lard because any substitute will burn and not fry, will cook but not season. Carnitas have their own fat which evaporates when cooked in Lard. If you cook in Oil, it takes less time to cook but it doesn’t evaporate the pork’s fat. Lastly, the flavor of Carnitas is only obtained by using Lard.
Why the Coke? well, in Michoacan they use a sort of Rock Salt as a lard catalyzer but when they can’t get it they use a can of Coke which is easy to find, cheaper and produces the same result.
Why the copper pot ? Because the copper brings a different flavor and color to the meat. This not only applies to Carnitas but to anything cooked in copper. In addition, copper seems to keep a constant temperature all around so what ever you make, is evenly cooked. (and there is the “ nice thing to cook on “ if I may add)
What’s the juice for? To add bittersweets taste and cure the fat and make it burn out.
Why not add any more water? Because water cooks by boiling while lard mainly by frying. Pork needs to be Boiled and fried to acquire the Carnitas flavor. The boiling process is fast while the frying in lard is slow.

OK, enjoy

Cheers.,

Vic.

jgarcia

Nov 30, 1919, 12:00 AM

Post #3 of 4 (35969 views)

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:I had been looking all over for a good carnitas receipie and tried your offering. It turned out great – as good as I’ve had in Jalisco. I thought that it the potential to be a good choice since it didn’t start with baking/roasting the meat in the oven as some of the other so-called carnitas’ receipies would have you do. And, yes, cooking with copper is important. My utensil is a mini version of the giant copper kettles you see the cooks using in the little carnecerias in Mexico.

Vic posted a "carnitas" recipe a while back so I went into the archives and have copied his post:

here we go: In a 2 to 3 gl (copper preferable) pot, place your water and 2 lbs of lard until boiling. (you’ll use more lard depending on the size and form of the pot) When this is boiling, reduce heat to small but constant bubbling, add the Shoulder and Butt in large chunks (about 1 to ½ lbs pieces will do but, do not cut smaller or they’ll shred to tiny pieces) Save the ribs for last.

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