Slow-Cooked Pork Shoulder
Pati Jinich's Carnitas con Salsa Verde Cruda
- For the Carnitas:
- 1/2 White Onion (peeled and coarsely chopped)
- 1 1/2 cups Water
- 6 Garlic cloves (peeled)
- 1 teaspoon dried Marjoram
- 1 teaspoon dried Thyme
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
- pinch Cumin
- 4 whole Cloves (stems removed)
- 1 tablespoon Kosher or Sea Salt (or more to taste)
- 1 tablespoon Lard or Vegetable Shortening
- 4-5 pound Boneless Pork Shoulder or Butt (cut into 4" chunks; fat on)
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher or Sea Salt
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 cup Orange Juice
- 2 tablespoons Sweetened Condensed Milk (La Lechera)
For the Salsa Verde Cruda:
- 1 pound Tomatillos (husks removed; rinsed and halved)
- 1 ripe Avocado (halved; pitted; meat scooped out)
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped Cilantro leaves and top part of stems
- 1 Jalapeno or Serrano Chile (add to taste)
- 3/4 teaspoon Kosher or Coarse Sea Salt (or more to taste)
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped White Onion
- For the Carnitas: In the jar of the blender, place the water, onion, garlic, marjoram, thyme, black pepper, cumin, stemmed whole cloves and 1 tablespoon salt. Puree until smooth.
- Set a large Dutch oven or heavy casserole over medium high heat. Add the lard or vegetable shortening and once it has melted and heated up, add the pork chunks and sprinkle the 1/2 teaspoon salt. Brown meat on all sides, stirring and flipping as it does for about 10 minutes.
- Pour the onion mixture over the meat, let it come to a simmer and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Add the bay leaves and pour the orange juice and sweetened condensed milk, give it a good stir, let it come to a simmer, reduce the heat to low to medium-low and cover. Cook, stirring and scrapping the bottom of the casserole 2 to 3 times along the way, until the meat is completely cooked and coming easily apart if you pull one piece, about one hour and a half. Remove the lid, cook for another 4 to 5 minutes. Scoop the carnitas with a slotted spoon, leaving any fat behind, and serve in a bowl or platter. Shred with a fork, if desired, before tucking into tacos. Or do like we do, straight from the pot.
- Serve with warm corn tortillas and pickled jalapeños or salsa verde cruda on the side.
- For the Salsa Verde Cruda: Combine the tomatillos, avocado, onion, cilantro, chile and salt in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth.