Over the course of the past couple of weeks, I have been making a slow cooked pork shoulder. This is not just your typical slow cooked, pulled pork, this my friends, is carnitas. Think of it as the mexican style pulled pork. Now I state ‘over the past couple of weeks’. Why? Because both my wife and I love it so much, it is hard to escape the thought. The beautiful thing is that once you are done braising the pork shoulder for roughly 4 hours, it gets pulled apart, and then cooked in an oven for nearly 15 minutes at 375 degrees. My mouth is watering just thinking about it, so lets get started.
4-6lb pork shoulder (whole, with fat trimmed)
3 cups of chicken stock
1 cup of salsa verde
2 onions, quartered
First start by admiring your pork shoulder. It’s a thing of beauty is it not? Kidding aside, take the pork shoulder and season generously with salt, pepper, oregano, and cumin. You can blend roughly 3 tsp of each into a small bowl, then rub into the meat if you want as well. Keep in mind that we are going to let this shoulder marinate and get happy in a ziplock bag overnight. Once the shoulder is seasoned, place in a large ziplock back, and add in the quartered onions to surround the meat.
The next day, give yourself nearly four hours to let this braise. This is a great Sunday meal, and awesome for leftovers. In a large pot, put in your shoulder, the onions that you had in the bag, and add to this the salsa verde and the chicken stock. Bring this up to a boil on medium-high heat, then cover, and reduce to a simmer for the remaining time.
Careful to remove the shoulder onto a cutting board. If this falls apart, get excited, as this is the beauty of the shoulder as well as the braising process. With two forks, pull the pork apart, and discard any of the strange fatty pieces that you might not want to eat.
Now, with your shredded pork, you can do a few things. Reserve some for barbecue sandwiches, or add it to a baking sheet and cook in the oven so it all gets a bit crispy. Welcome the carnita. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and cook for roughly 15 minutes. When you are ready, place the meat in fresh corn tortillas and make your favorite taco, or if you are wanting something even better, go for the chimichanga.
Watch for my post later in the week for the burrito that is seriously going to compete with Chipotle or Qdoba. It’s all good.