Saturday, November 7, 2009

Carnitas with Salsa and Salad

 Summer and Mexican food go so well together. The spice and freshness of the cuisine, made properly, is so light and yet satisfying. Don't be fooled into thinking of your local Taco Bill as Mexican fare. That's Tex-Mex and there is a substantial difference. Do away with stodgy! But keep the margarita :)

Carintas is a shredded crispy pork that is often used as a filling for tacos and burritos, similar to the shredded beef we're all accustomed to here in Australia. The thing i love about this version of carnitas is the crispiness achieved on the outside of the chunks of pork, begging to soak up the tangy salsa and creamy sour cream sides.

This salsa is pretty close to the stuff you get in jars, old el paso style. Although i tend to prefer the fresher, zingy salsas, this one paired well with the carnitas and side salad.

  • 1kg boned pork shoulder, cut into 15cm chunks
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp chili pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Olive Oil
  • Water
  • 1 tbs salt

  • 5 tomatos, seeds removed, and diced
  • 1 green capsicum, pith removed, and diced
  • 1/2 brown onion, diced
  • 1tbs olive oil
  • 1tbs tomato paste


Rub the salt over each of the pork chunks, and refridgerate overnight
Place crock pot over medium heat with 1tbs of vegetable oil
Place pork chunks into the pot and brown well on all sides, moving as little as possible.

Remove pork chunks and set aside.
Add 1 cup of water to crock pot and scrape off the yummy caramelized bits off the bottom of the pot.

Add spices and stir.
Place pork chunks back into the crock pot, and fill pot with water until pork is 2/3 submerged.
Place in an oven at 180 degrees for 3 1/2 hours, turning regularly, or until pork is flaky and liquid is most evaporated.

Remove pork chunks and flake into bite sized pieces.
Place pork back into pot and into the oven, uncovered.
Turn pork regularly until all liquid is evaporated and desired crispiness of the pork is achieved.

Bring a saucepan to medium heat with the oil.
Add the onion and saute for 3-4 minutes or until softened.
Add all other ingredients and bring to boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Refridgerate until cold.

Serve the carnitas hot, along with the salsa, a side salad, and a dollop of sour cream. Perfect summer fare. Alternatively serve into tortillas (if you don't forget to buy them like i did).

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