Monday, December 21, 2015

It's Puffy Taco Time!

Welcome to my December garden.
My roses are happy.

The Hawthornes were at Food Lion the other day
As in where else would we be.
Oh yeah, the recycle center.
Smoked shank portion ham was on sale for 99¢/pound.
We bought the smallest one - 7 pounds.

Now, let's talk about where I'm going with the ham,
since I don't have all the step by step pictures
simply because I was lazy.
I started out pretty good, then I fizzled. 
I'm making puffy tacos.
I'm going to cut off about a pound or so of the ham, chop it, 
and then cook it using the same process as when I make carnitas.
With true carnitas, I use Boston butt.
Let me clarify what the Boston butt is not.
It is not a cut from the pig's but. 
What it is is a cut from the front shoulder.
New England butchers would take these less prized cuts of pork
and pack them into barrels for transport and storage.
The containers the pork went into were called butts,
and this particular pork cut became known as a New England specialty -
the Boston butt.
The Boston butt is the top part of the shoulder.
The picnic is the bottom half.

And now you know.
 You really should check out my previous carnitas.

Sorry, I digest.
Back to the puffy tacos.

I'm going to chop the pork,
cook it carnita style in citrus juice 
and other stuff on top of the stove for a bit.
Then pop it in a 300° for about 2 hours, until tender.
Then I'll remove pork pieces from oven
and set them on a rack.
I'm adding 1/2 cup of my veal stock to the pan sauces
and cooking slowly until reduced by half.
This concentrated braising liquid is poured over the pork
and placed under the boiler. 
The glaze creates a more intense flavor 
and crisper edges.

NOTE:  Homemade veal stock is KILLER.

Have some white rice, black beans,
 salsa, sour cream, and cilantro to go along with it.

Fry up a puffy taco and load it up.

 Rosie's Ersatz Carnitas
 1 pound or so chopped smoked pork shank
1 cup water
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 limes, juiced and peels thrown into the pot
2 oranges, juiced and peels thrown into the pot
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
pinch kosher salt 
freshly ground pepper
4 fresh bay leaves or 2 dried
1/2 cup homemade veal stock

 In Dutch oven, combine pork, water, onion,
oregano, cumin, bay leaves, salt, pepper,
lime juice, orange juice, and the slices.

Bring mixture to a simmer 
over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
Cover pot, transfer to 300° oven.
Cook about 2 hours, until meat is falling apart.

Transfer pork to cutting board and pull apart.

Discard bay leaves, onion, fruit wedges.
Add the veal stock to the braising liquid 
and simmer over low heat until reduced by half.

Add pork and reduced liquid to a bowl and toss to coat.

Set on wire rack and place under broiler
until browned but not charred.
Flip halfway through broiling.

The puffy taco.
Take a regular tortilla
and place in 375° to 400° peanut oil.
Control taco shape with tongs.
Drain upside down on paper towels.

 Load it up with pork, rice, black beans, salsa, sour cream.
 And cilantro.


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