Carnitas! May 18, 2012Posted by Peeps in Cooking, Food, Home, random stuff.
We love taco night in our house. Come to think of it, I’ve always loved taco night.
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?
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.
We’ve tried different spice blends and all sorts of cooking techniques. And they’ve all been fine. But that’s about all.
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.
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.
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.
But like most of their recipes, it’s a bit complicated. And it tends to dirty more pans than I generally approve of.
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!
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.
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.