BRAISED PORK CARNITAS

INGREDIENTS

2kg pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces

2 cups water

1 onion, thinly sliced

½ orange, cut in half

¼ cup pork lard or olive oil

5 garlic cloves, peeled

2 bay leaves

1 tbs brown sugar

2 tsp dried oregano

4 sprigs fresh thyme

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

VIVE Recipes Carnitas

METHOD

Place all ingredients except pork in a cast iron pot or slow cooker on high heat and combine. Add the pork and bring to the boil. Lower heat and simmer, stirring occasionally,  for 1½ - 2 hours or until the pork is tender and falling apart.

At this point the liquid should be thick and syrupy. If the liquid hasn't evaporated enough, transfer the pork to a bowl and reduce until it has reached a sticky consistency, then strain through a fine mesh sieve and reserve. Pull the pork apart with a fork (or with your fingers) and pour over the reduced cooking liquid.

Heat lard or olive oil in a cast iron skillet or heavy bottom frying pan and fry the pork for 10-15 minutes. It is best not to stir too much so that the bottom goes a golden crispy brown and the top stays moist and tender. Be careful not to burn the base.

Stir the meat around and serve immediately with the Mexican Beans. A perfect, cool-weather Autumn feast!

This beautiful braise would also be a fantastic filling for tacos or fajitas.