I love Mexican food. It’s my go-to supper on those nights when I don’t know what to fix and the kids are STARVING and have to eat NOW. I keep ziploc bags of taco meat in the freezer so that all I have to do is heat and eat. Tonight, though, instead of the stand-by tacos, we took it low and slow, and had the best carnitas I think we’ve ever had. Period. It was the first time I’d tried to make them, and it was worth the time and effort. This recipe fed our family of five with leftovers for lunch tomorrow.
Cube a 2-3 lb. pork shoulder/blade roast into 1-2 inch chunks. Make a mix of salt, dried thyme, dried marjoram, and a touch of cumin (I’m not an exact kind of girl) and sprinkle it over the pork. Toss so that the pieces are seasoned. Place seasoned meat in a ziploc bag and let it sit refrigerated for anywhere between 1-24 hours.
In a large dutch oven, melt 1 cup of lard over medium-high heat. (Yes. Lard. Hence the title of this blog entry.) Brown the pork cubes in the lard. Do it in batches if you need to. Once browned, return the meat to the pot (the melted lard stays in there, too!) and add 4 whole cloves of peeled garlic, and 1 orange, cut into eighths (rind and all).
Put the lid on, turn heat to low, and let it go for the next hour and a half.
When you’re ready to eat, drain off all the liquid, and remove the garlic and orange pieces. You can now either serve the meat in chunks, or you can do what I did and shred it with a fork.
We made tortilla wraps with black beans, yellow rice and the pork. The kids inhaled it.
Other options: Use the filling in wonton wrappers for dumplings or in crescent rolls for little pork purses.
I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.