Saturday, June 23, 2012

Rosie Makes Carnitas And Taquitos.

Carnitas means "little meats" in Spanish
and for pork aficionados,
carnitas are a favorite in Mexico.
In particular, the carnitas of the Michoacan state of Mexico,
are considered the best.
carnitas are chunks of pork
fried in large vats of lard.
I'm going with a Diana Kennedy recipe
that calls for covering the meat with water
and slowly cooking down the liquid,
then allowing the meat to brown
until all the fat has rendered out of it.

Recently, Carrie of Our Life In Food blogdom
made carnitas,
as did Lisa of Homesick Texan
and Deb of Smitten Kitchen,
so I knew I had to try these.

Here are my carnitas
wrapped in a lettuce leaf with salsa.

This is my second preparation - carnitas in taquitos,
served with a fresh salsa and a velvet cheese sauce.

I started with a four-pound Boston butt.

I left the fat on.
By leaving the fat on,
I'll be able to render the fat
and let the meat brown,
using the pork fat.

I cut the bone out and cut the meat into 1-inch cubes.

I minced four garlic cloves
and added to the meat.

 I juiced 1/4 cup of lime juice and ...

...  poured the lime juice over the meat.

Juiced 1/2 cup orange juice and ...

...  poured that over the meat.
The acidic juices help tenderize the meat,
which ends up falling apart.

Add in a tablespoon of cumin and ...

...  and a tablespoon of Kosher salt.

Mix by hand to distribute the flavors.

I put the pork in a large pot
and added enough water to barely cover.

Bring to a boil,
then reduce heat to a low simmer,
and cook for 2 hours, uncovered, without disturbing.

After two hours,  increase heat to medium,
and cook for another 45 minutes,
stirring occasionally,
until all the liquid has evaporated and only
the rendered fat remains.
Keep turning meat until it is lightly browned all over.

I served this on a tortilla chip with fresh salsa.

Mr. Hawthorne,
still on his diet,
eschewed the chips for a lettuce leaf.

For a second preparation,
I decided to make taquitos with the carnitas as filling.
Place a small amount of the carnita filling
onto a flour tortilla, a corn tortilla,
or, if you want to be multi-cultural,
you could use an egg roll wrapper like I did.
Roll up and seal.

Fry until lightly browned.
Drain on paper towels.

Serve with fresh salsa
and fresh cilantro with green coriander seeds
and a Velvet Cheese Sauce.
For the cheese sauce,
nuke 4 ounces Velveeta cheese with
4 ounces cream cheese and 1 TB heavy cream until melted.
Add in 1/2 - 1 tsp each cumin, oregano, and cayenne powder.
Stir until smooth.



Marilyn said...

Now I'm craving carnitas!

Rosie Hawthorne said...

One cannot not like this.

It would be terrific on nachos with black beans, grilled corn, chopped garden tomatoes, onions, black olives, cilantro, "velvet" cheese, lettuce, salsa, avocado... Oh my.