Carnitas (Braised Pork Shoulder)
Makes 10-12 servings
1 pork shoulder, about 5 pounds
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 celery stalks
1 large yellow or Spanish onion
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup adobo, chile paste reserved from canned chipotles
1-2 cups water
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Trim pork shoulder of excessive fat and cut into 1-inch cubes.
- Cut carrot, celery and onion into a small dice and cut oranges and limes into halves.
- Heat a large rondo, or braising pan, on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Pour in oil and sauté diced vegetables. After 3-4 minutes add cubed pork shoulder. Cook for 5-7 minutes until pork begins to brown. Season the mixture: Add salt, pepper, paprika and cumin. Next, add orange and lime halves. Add vinegars and adobo paste, followed by 1 to 2 cups water, or enough to almost cover cubed pork. Bake the pork: Cover with lid or foil and place in oven. Cook about 2 hours or until pork is fork tender.
- Remove from oven and serve with tortillas, guacamole, salsa verde and chipotle mojo. Traditional garnishes include grated sharp dry cheeses, radishes, sour cream, shredded cabbage and limes.