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Carnitas (Braised Pork Shoulder)

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 pork shoulder, about 5 pounds
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 large yellow or Spanish onion
  • 2 oranges
  • 3 limes
  • 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

Method

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Trim pork shoulder of excessive fat and cut into 1-inch cubes.
  3. Cut carrot, celery and onion into a small dice and cut oranges and limes into halves.
  4. Heat a large rondo, or braising pan, on the stovetop over medium-high heat.
  5. Pour in oil and sauté diced vegetables.
  6. After 3-4 minutes add cubed pork shoulder. Cook for 5-7 minutes until pork begins to brown.
  7. Season the mixture: Add salt, pepper, paprika and cumin.
  8. Next, add orange and lime halves.
  9. Add vinegars and adobo paste, followed by 1 to 2 cups water, or enough to almost cover cubed pork.
  10. Bake the pork: Cover with lid or foil and place in oven. Bake for about 2 hours or until pork is fork tender.
  11. Remove from oven and serve with tortillas, guacamole, salsa verde and chipotle mojo.

Yield: 10-12 servings

Traditional garnishes include grated sharp dry cheeses, radishes, sour cream, shredded cabbage and limes.

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