Carnitas recipe

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Carnitas are small pieces of pork, cooked in the oven until crispy. The pork is flavored with spices and chili and used as a filling for tacos or burritos.
Preparation time: -, Cooking time: -, Serves: 0 


4 pounds boneless pork shoulder trimmed off excess fat, cut into 5-inch chunks
1 Tbsp coarse sea salt
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp chili powder
2 ancho chiles, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp ground cumin
3 cloves of garlic, thinly-sliced


Sear (brown) the pork
Season the pork chunks with salt and rub well. Refrigerate for a few hours.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Sear the pork chunks in a single layer, in batches if the pan is not large enough, until well-browned, turning them once or twice.

Deglaze the pan
Remove the pork from the pan and set aside. Clean the pan from excess fat. Pour in a cup of water and bring to a heat, while scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spatula. This will releast all the tasty bits.

Cook the pork
Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C) degrees.

Add the browned pork into a roasting pan and pour the liquid from the frying pan over it. Add enough water to cover the pork by 2/3. Add the cinnamon stick, chile powder, ancho chiles, bay leaves, cumin and garlic. Stir to combine ingredients.

Cook uncovered for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, turning the pork occationally, until the liquid is reduced and the pork is cooked through and falling apart when pressed using a fork.

Remove the pan from the oven. Move the pork chunks to a platter and let them cool down. When cold enough to handle, shred them into 1 to 2 inch chunks, discarding any excess fat.

Return the shredded pork back to the roasting pan and cook in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes more, turning a few times, until the liquid has evaporated and the pork is crispy and caramelized.

Serve in flour or corn tortillas with guacamole, sour cream, salsa and refried beans.
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