BEST OF RECIPE OF THE DAY: CARNITAS

September 10, 2012 

This week and next, we're sharing the greatest hits from Recipe of the Day's lifespan. Today's is a much requested recipe for carnitas, which are best served in corn tortillas with pico de gallo, white Mexican cheese, avocado and sour cream.

INGREDIENTS

Carnitas spice rub:
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons chili powder (ancho or New Mexico recommended, but regular works)
3 lbs. boneless Boston butt, cut into 1 1/2- to 2-inch pieces, stripped of visible fat
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup chicken stock or canned chicken broth
1 large onion, diced

DIRECTIONS

Mix all the rub ingredients together. Add the pork to the rub and toss well to coat. Cover the bowl and put in the refrigerator overnight or up to 48 hours.

In a large, covered pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Cook the pork in batches until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer pork with a slotted spoon as it's cooked to a plate and continue cooking the remaining pieces. When it's all browned, set the pot aside. Do not drain.

In a small bowl, stir the vinegar with the honey until the honey dissolves. Stir in the chicken stock and add the mixture to the pot, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom. Add the onion and bring the liquid to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer, return the pork to the pot cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pork is fork-tender, at least 2 hours.

Remove the cover and increase the heat slightly. Continue to cook until the liquid has evaporated and the fat from the pork is bubbling, about 30 minutes. As soon as the pork begins to brown, stir regularly to prevent burning. It's done when it has become golden to dark brown and is nicely crisped. Remove the pot from heat and set aside to cool slightly. Shred by hand, chop with a knife or serve as is, with a mixture of large and small pieces.

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