Carnitas – Slow Braised Mexican Pork Recipe

Burritos have become a growing habit of mine since I first tried one when Daddy Donkey came to town in Leather Lane near where I work in 2007. Since then I’ve become a big fan of the modest burrito, the name of which is derived from the Mexican word for Donkey. Carnitas is currently my favourite filling; it’s slow cooked pork which is remarkably easy to do. Since you use a shoulder joint, it’s also very cheap.

Chilango is currently my favourite burrito joint and it also seems to be benefitting from London’s growing love affair with Mexican food. Fortuitously, I won a bunch of vouchers through the charity raffle associated with the yearly Nom Nom Nom cook off, so I’ve recently been able to indulge my habit for free and share my obsession with various friends.

So, Carnitas: beautifully simple and absolutely delicious. Very quickly I came across a recipe by Homesick Texan, Lisa, which talked me through the different challenges she’d faced in perfecting her Carnitas, before she discovered Diana Kennedy‘s approach.

This approach sees the fatty cuts of pork shoulder simmered in two parts water and one part orange juice for a few hours, before increasing the heat and reducing the water until only rendered fat is left. At this stage, the meat starts caramelising beautifully until you’re left with wonderfully tasting pork. Check out Lisa’s helpful overview here.

Enter guacamole, fresh salsa (tomatillo salsa is the recommended, but they’re not handy in UK supermarkets), salad and crème fraiche and a few tortilla wraps and you’ve got yourself a burrito. Nom.
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