Recipe: Carnitas (Pork) Tacos

31 Aug

In Canada, some people might mistake these for tacos…

However, they are wrong.

In Mexico, the Southwestern US and restaurants who are savvy, you can get real tacos. The meats are traditionally grilled or slow cooked, the salsa and other toppings are really fresh and so are the tortillas. And when you’ve had a real one, you don’t ever want to go back to the kind made with ground beef and a packet of spice.

So how do you get real tacos if you don’t happen to live near a purveyor of such delicious things? Well, you have to make your own and really it’s not that hard.

I like to make pork tacos which are known as carnitas. I also make my own tortillas and salsa. And I know what you’re thinking, “Wow, that sounds really hard.” Trust me, if it was, I wouldn’t do it. I’m too lazy for that!

Putting all three recipes in one blog post would be a bit extreme, so check out my recipes for corn tortillas and salsa on different pages.

Carnitas (Pork) Tacos

1 large pork shoulder roast (sometimes called pork butt), cut into 2″ cubes
salt & pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 small onion, peeled & halved
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano**
juice of 1 lime plus 1 whole lime, halved seeds removed and juiced
2 cups of water
1 teaspoon

Throw everything into a heavy bottomed pot and simmer on low until tender (about 2 hours).

When ready to serve, add some pork and a generous ladle of drippings to a frying pan to crisp/caramelize the meat slightly.

This will make enough pork to feed a huge crowd but it freezes really well for future enjoyment. Just make sure to add some of the drippings to each dish of pork you’re saving.

Enjoy in fresh tortillas, with fresh salsa, lettuce, sour cream, cheese and a squeeze of fresh lime.

** You can use regular oregano but the Mexican kind has a slightly different flavour profile. I get mine at La Tiendita, a latin grocery store on Merivale Rd. near Carling. The entrance is actually in La Cabana restaurant. You can also buy fresh tortillas here if you want to wuss out on making your own.

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