Monday, May 28, 2012

Recipe Test - Citrus Carnitas

Sorry it's been so quiet around here. My husband and I just finished up 2 weeks of training with the Army National Guard. That picture of us is from when we first started dating back in 2005. ;) Needless to say, staying Paleo the last 2 weeks was somewhat of a challenge. I don't think I've eaten so much iceberg lettuce my entire life. Anywho, we're back just in time for Memorial Day Weekend - a time to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

“True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.”  -Arthur Ashe

“The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.” -Benjamin Disraeli

May we all continue to learn from that example and be worthy of their sacrifice.


Well, as most Americans are wont to do, for some reason we spend Memorial Day Weekend in a bbq'ing frenzy. This year we're breaking the mold and making some delicious stovetop carnitas (notwithstanding the fact that we live in an apartment building and don't even own a barbeque... we're still rebels!).

This is another amazing recipe from the cookbook Well Fed by Melissa Joulwan. What I love about her recipes are her use of spices - always the most creative combinations which make for very tasty dishes. This one is actually very simple to prepare, it just needs a lot of time on the stove. By the time you're done you will have the most delicious, fork-tender carnitas you've ever tasted!

  • 3-4 pounds pork shoulder (boneless or bone-in)
  • 1 rounded Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • water
  1. With a sharp knife, cut the pork shoulder into a few large chunks. You don't want them bite-sized (make them about 3" to 4" across). Place the pork pieces in a large zipper storage bag.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the cumin, garlic powder, salt, coriander, black pepper, and cayenne; mix with a fork. Add the spice blend to the bag, zip closed, and shake assertively until all the pieces are coated with the spices.
  3. Place the pork in a large, deep pot. Pour the lime and lemon juice into the bottom of the pot, then add water to just cover the meat.
  4. Place the pot on high heat and bring the water to a rip-roaring boil. When it's rolling, reduce the heat to keep a steady strong simmer with the pan uncovered. The liquid should bubble a fair amount, but should not be a vigorous boil. While it's cooking, it will look like uninspired soup. As the water evaporates, the powerful acidic qualities of the citrus juice tenderizes the meat.
  5. At about the 2-hour mark, check the pot. The water should be much lower and maybe even almost gone. Allow all the water to cook out of the pan and watch as the meat fries and caramellizes in the pork fat and fruit juice. Make sure the exterior doesn't burn.
  6. Carefully turn the hunks of meat - without shredding them - to brown all sides, then remove the hunks to a plate and let them rest for 5 minutes before eating.
mmmm... meat hunks

Melissa Joulwan is not afraid of spices, that's for sure!

At first it seems like this will never cook down.

You might be losing faith after over an hour passes.

Stay patient! Before you know it, 2 hours rolls around and most of the water is gone.

Ah, the home stretch! Brown the meat on all sides for caramely-goodness.

No comments:

Post a Comment