Dear Pork, I am in love with you.
You did it again. Just when I think I’m (almost) ready to be a vegetarian, you inspire me. It was a day not made for cooking. Sunny and hot (like actually hot!), I had to spend the day at the beach, burning to a crisp. I returned home red and tender, not far from resembling a piece of jerky, and didn’t really look forward to turning on the stove. But there you were, so pink and porky. I didn’t want to slice you up.
But I had guests arriving. And I wanted tacos. Carnitas tacos. So into a pot you went, with some orange juice, orange peels, mexican coke, water and garlic.
You boiled for a while as I thought up ways to serve you. First we needed tortillas. Props to Pantea for dominating the tortilla press. Tortillas for 11 is no small task. But for you, pork, anything.
She made a lovely stack.
And there was a watermelon chilling on the counter, so we made agua fresca.
And then we caramelized some onions.
And marinated some radishes in lime juice and pepper.
And you just kept boiling.
While we roasted some tomatillos for salsa roja. For YOU, pork. You.
And then you did the most amazing thing. All the water evaporated, and you were frying in your own fat. It was so beautiful. I almost wept with love.
But it was 10.30 and the guests were getting crazed. So I started frying up those fresh tortillas.
And when you were nice and caramelized, we all stared for a while, admiring your loveliness.
And then I ate you. I’ve never felt so close to a pig before.
CARNITAS RECIPE :
4 pounds pork shoulder, with fat intact
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice
3/4 cup mexican coke (has real sugar not corn syrup)
5 garlic cloves, peeled
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
several orange peels
– Cut pork into 2-3 inch chunks. Combine everything in a large pot and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until pork is tender and fat is liquifying, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours, adding more water by 1/4 cupfuls if necessary to keep pork partially submerged.
– Uncover and boil pork mixture until the water evaporates and meat browns and begins to get crisp, stirring often.
– Cool meat slightly. Pull meat into bite sized chunks if necessary.
– Eat yourself silly.