Carnitas

I love a good book – I love even more when I have time to read a good book.  For the past few years, the majority of my reading has resolved around food.  Not just food magazines, but books about food – written by people who are completely consumed by food.  I love these types of books – because I can relate, and they are different than cook books, although many of them do share recipes.  I have quite a library of food related books, and I get so excited when I learn of a new one that can’t be missed.

At this point, I can’t remember how I found out about my latest favorite, but he is a local writer, and has a podcast with one of my other local favorites, Molly Wizenberg.  The title of his book is called Hungry Monkey.  I remember when I saw the title, it brought me back to my nursing days when my girls were first born – I called both of them hungry monkeys, because when they would get hungry, they would root around and make noises almost like a monkey.  I guess I was not alone since that was exactly the reason behind the title of this book, and I was hooked.  It is about a father who is trying to raise his daughter to be an adventurous eater.  In my own quest, I have realized that there is not much I can do aside from not changing my eating habits.  My kids are going to make their own decisions, all I can do is ask them to try the food I make.  Sometimes I get lucky, and I will not give up.  This book is extremely humorous with so many stories I can relate to.  Ok, the most ironic part?  Our daughters actually go to the same school.

This recipe is from his book – the first one I have made.  They came out so good though, I can’t wait to try more.  They were super simple to make, and ridiculously delicious.  I bought some really fresh corn tortillas from the market, topped them with some local salsa, and my homemade guacamole, and some roasted red pepper yogurt and they were a huge hit.  If you have children, this book is a must – it will keep you laughing the whole way through…and when you are done, there are plenty of recipes to keep you happy. 

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder or country-style ribs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 large red or yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup tequila
  • Juice of 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 12 corn tortillas, warmed
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage (optional)
  • Salsa (optional)
  • 1 cup guacamole or 1 avocado cut into slices (optional)
  • lime wedges (optional)
  • 2 fresh poblano chiles (optional)

Preparation

In a large saucepan over medium-high, combine the pork, onion, broth, tequila, lime juice and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, 2 to 3 hours, or until the meat is tender and the broth is cooked off. If necessary, the heat can be increased toward the end of cooking to boil off any excess liquid. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Heat a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high. If you don’t have a non-stick pan, add a bit of olive oil to the skillet.

Transfer the pork and onion mixture to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until well-browned or even lightly burned and crispy, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately on corn tortillas, with cabbage, salsa, guacamole, lime wedges and roasted poblanos, if using.

To roast the poblanos, heat the oven to broil. Place the poblanos on the oven’s top rack and broil, turning as needed, until all sides are blackened, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool. When cool, slide off the skins, then slice open, discard the seeds and cut the flesh into strips.

Makes 6 servings.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Carnitas

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