Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Rosie Makes Carnitas.

It's nice having Middle Hawthorne home.
I get to clean out the big freezer in my utility room,
so Mr. Hawthorne can fill it up again.
It's a vicious cycle, I tell you.

Typically and historically, carnitas, or "little meats,"
are fried in lard.
 is from Diana Kennedy,
the Grande Dame of Mexican Cooking.

I cut my pork butt into two-inch cubes,
added a bunch of citrus juices and water to barely cover,
added salt and cumin,
and some garlic cloves.
Bring to a boil.
Lower heat and simmer for 2 hours.
Raise heat to medium,
and let the liquid evaporate off in about 45 minutes,
render off all the fat,
and brown the meat.
The inside is drop-apart tender.
The outside is crispy and brown.
Maillard reaction to the nth degree.

It's freakin' excellent.

  I cut the thickest pieces of fat off the meat,
but I saved them to cook with.
 Tease the meat apart where that fat layer is.
Leave the fat.

traditionally, the meat is fried in lard.
So you want to leave the fat on this meat.

 Save that blade of bone.
Freezer-bag it.

Think about it:
Somewhere down the road,
I'll have pork stock for a bean soup!

  Cut the meat into 2-inch cubes.

I used the juice of two oranges and two limes.
1 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp cumin

I love patterns of nature.
I poured the citrus juices and pulp over the pork cubes.

Six garlic cloves.

Smash with the blade of a knife to peel off the skin and ...
...  add to the pot.

 Add in a teaspoon of salt and ...
... and a teaspoon of cumin.

Add water to barely cover the meat.

Bring the pot to a boil,
then reduce to simmer.
Simmer uncovered for 2 hours.
Do not touch the meat.
Leave it alone.

After two hours, turn the heat up to medium
and cook uncovered for about 45 minutes
or until all the liquid has evaporated
 and the pork fat has been rendered.
Occasionally stir, turning the fat sides
 to the bottom of the pan to render.

 While the pork was cooking,
I made a quick salsa.
One can of RoTel diced tomatoes and green chilies
red onion

Mr. Hawthorne is picking the seeds out of the tomatillo.
We'll use the seeds to plant this month.

Oh my.
Spring is not far away!

I boiled the tomatillo for about 5 minutes
until soft.

Mix the jar of RoTel,
the chopped red onion,
the chopped tomatillo,
and the chopped cilantro.

Pork fat has been rendered.

This is so good.
The meat is fall-apart tender.
The outside is crispy and full of flavor.

I served my carnitas on Tostitos with the salsa.
This received major thumbs-up
from Middle Hawthorne and the Hawthorne friends.

 Or you could serve the carnitas
in a tortilla bowl,
with shredded lettuce,
chopped red onion,
queso fresco, cilantro, and sliced jalapenos.

 Go get yourself a pork butt,
try this,
and you will thank me.

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