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Carnitas! May 18, 2012

Posted by Peeps in Cooking, Food, Home, random stuff.
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We love taco night in our house.  Come to think of it, I’ve always loved taco night.

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Up until the last few years, to me tacos have always been ground beef with seasonings, most likely from a little envelope. And please don’t get me wrong. They’re mighty good. Maybe not so authentic, but who cares?

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A few years ago, my wife and I started to experiment. There was a chicken taco recipe that we had when we had our shop. It was pretty good, but it wasn’t amazing.

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We’ve tried different spice blends and all sorts of cooking techniques. And they’ve all been fine. But that’s about all.

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Then we tried carnitas. What is that? Seasoned pork shoulder that’s been either braised or roasted until it’s falling apart then shredded. It’s then crisped in either a hot oven or in a skillet.

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I’d certainly heard of them before, and I seem to recall trying them in some restaurant somewhere a while back. But they apparently didn’t make much of an impression.

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The first time we made them at home, we used a recipe from Cook’s Illustrated. We tend to trust them. And it was very good.

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But like most of their recipes, it’s a bit complicated. And it tends to dirty more pans than I generally approve of.

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And them my wife found this recipe. We didn’t tweak it, screw with it, adapt it, nothing. We tried it as is and it was fabulous!

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We now have our go-to recipe for taco night. A little cheese, some diced onion, some shredded cabbage and we’re good to go. The sauce you make by reducing the braising liquid is incredible, if a tad messy. But you can fix that by mixing some of the sauce with some sour cream. Heaven. Don’t bother with salsa or commercial taco sauce. Not with this.

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Leftovers from this recipe work in all kinds of ways. Oh, and it works with a chuck roast instead of the pork shoulder in case you have issues with pork. It’s not quite as good, but I won’t turn it down.

And if by chance you don’t happen to have a pressure cooker, you could do this in a covered Dutch oven in a low oven for a few hours and get almost the same results. But I can’t think of a better reason for going out and buying a pressure cooker. Sure, why not now? You’ll be able to start making the best tacos of your life that much sooner.

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Comments

1. judy - May 20, 2012

These tacos have been on my mind (and not unfortunately in my mouth) ever since I read this one. YUM. I am sure everyone dug into these. 🙂

2. Monday Musings: 06.25.2012 Edition « Dark Side of the Fridge - June 25, 2012

[…]  Aunt Cathy has some food allergies, so have to be careful.  Fortunately, Peeps’s favorite carnitas doesn’t have anything on the “bad” list, so we’re good.  The best part is […]


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