[Smashy the Hammer] [An Aspiring Luddite]
I carry no phone
An aspiring Luddite
In a wired world.
[Jeff Berry]
Jeff Berry is an early adopter of the Internet and the Web, a late adopter of Twitter, and declines to adopt Facebook. With the death of Google+, he's experimenting with federated platforms. He admins a medievalist Mastodon instance, and can found on the PlusPora diaspora pod. He hates cell-phones.

Not Quite Carnitas (But Close)
17 May 2012
[Carnitas Enchilada]

Almost every culture and cuisine that eats meat has some sort of process for turning cuts of tough meat into tender delights. Often they originate from the peasant classes, who were more likely to get the "difficult" bits. Usually, they are slow-cooking of some kind, since that's how you break down collagen. Frequently they are moist, but not always. This is where you get your pot-roasts, your bakehofs, your cassoulets and so forth.

I suspect that Carnitas grew from the same rootstock. It certainly bears many of the same hallmarks. It also produces a similar delicious result. The following recipe is non-traditional in a couple of ways. First, I use just a slow-cooker without a high-heat finish, which means these Carnitoids are not at all crispy and brown. You could always finish them in a high-heat oven or fry them for a short while to get that crunch and taste; I often twice-cook meats like this for just that reason. Second, my spicing leans fairly heavily on chilis, which is not quite usual. But I like chilis, so there you go ...

Not Quite Carnitas (But Close)

Put the water at the bottom of the crock pot. Dust the roast with the chili powder, cumin and salt, and put it into the crock pot next. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Dump them on top of the roast, trying to keep them mostly on the meat. Take one of the oranges and cut it in half. Squeeze the juice onto the meat and then places the halves on top of the roast. Put the crock pot on low and leave it for six hours or so. (As a note, when squeezing juice from citrus, I like to make sure my hands are really clean, then squeeze the juice through my fingers so I can catch the seeds.)

[Carnitas] After about six hours, or a bit longer, check the meat. The bone (if your roast was bone-in) should simply pull out at this point. Remove it and the orange halves. Give everything a stir and taste it. Then adjust the seasonings. I found that I needed to add more chipotle, cumin and salt. This is a good point to add the second orange, if so inclined. Let it cook another hour or two. You can serve it as-is or in tacos, enchiladas or where-ever the hell you feel like serving it, really.

For the first meal, we simply made soft tacos with the Carnitas and that was perfectly acceptable, let me tell you. The second meal, pictured at the top, was enchiladas with mole sauce. That, too, was just fine, thankyouverramuch.

© 2012 Jeff Berry
The Aspiring Luddite