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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Smoked Pork 'Carnitas'-style

So, on Sunday, I cooked up a load of meat, including two pork butts that I was able to score at the local wholesale distributor. One of these cooked up perfectly within my time constraints, the other was more stubborn. I pulled it before it was ready. Thus it came about, that I had a not-quite-ready to pull butt. What to do...

Pork Butts and Ribs

I decided to make a 'Carnitas'-style dish, I love carnitas, the traditional Mexican dish, of slow cooked pork that is rendered and cooked in it's own fat. I like the use of smoked pork as a riff on this, as it adds another dimension to the meat. I took the stubborn butt, chunked it up. I also prepared some lime, orange, garlic, jalapeno and onion. I briefly sauteed the these vegetables and fruit, then added the pork. I ended up adding a little extra peanut oil to get the rendering started.

Fruit and Vegetables

I then added the chunked up pork, note that I used cast iron, I just don't believe there is a better material or type of pan for this kind of cooking. The chunks were slowly fried and they continued to render into the pan. This results in additional caramelization as well as the added depth of flavor from the fruits and vegetables.

Chunked Pork

From here, I increase the heat to start creating a crust and crisping the surfaces. This process also creates some shredding and refines the texture of the meat. It may look chewy, but, it has just a crisp surface and a melting texture in the mouth.

Ready for the Tortilla,,,or...

From here, it can easily be used for tacos or burritos, or my preference, with rice and fresh fruit. I like pairing oranges and melon with some rice, chile sauce and this meat. The fresh fruit picks up the flavors in the meat while adding a nice cooling element to the dish. Something like an acidic cole slaw would also be great, with that great acidity cutting through the fatty pork.

1 comment:

  1. The fruit and vegetables picture is so good, Bob. I like pork and all, but that picture makes me want that saute more than the pork itself.