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Posted to Thread #17704 at 1:26 am on Feb 13, 2010

blend the two, in terms of seasonings, but the treatment remains the same.

Carnitas a la Casera
Here is a recipe for carnitas that our cook used to make in Mexico:

2 lbs. pork butt
1/2 medium onion, cut in half
1 large clove of garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
garlic salt

Place the pork in a 3 quart saucepan. Add water to cover, the onion, garlic, salt, oregano and cumin. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350F
Drain the pork, and reserve the broth for another use, like soup. Place the pork in a baking pan and sprinkle with garlic salt. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and shred while still warm.

Use the shredded meat for tacos or tostadas...Leftovers make good sandwiches...

Source: Sandra/London
Carnitas (translated: "little meats")

1 4 to 5 pound pork shoulder or butt, left whole, bone-in, but trimmed of large pieces of exterior fat and rind
1 large yellow onion, peeled, quartered
1 Tbsp coriander seeds (whole seeds, NOT ground)
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds (whole, not ground)
2 tsp dry oregano leaves (not ground)
2 bay leaves

Place all ingredients into a 6 to 8 quart stock pot. Pour in enough water to just cover the meat.

Heat to a boil, reduce to a slow simmer, cover and allow to cook until meat easily shreds with two forks. This takes somewhere between 3 and 5 hours. Add more boiling water, as necessary, to keep meat covered.

Heat oven to 450 degrees F.
Remove meat from the stock pot and place in a large 13" x 9" roasting pan. (Reserve broth for Albondigas, if desired). Gently pull meat apart, discarding excess fat, bone and any connective tissue. Meat should be in small to medium-size chunks, spread out in the pan.

Bake, uncovered, in the 450 degree oven until the meat is browned and sizzling hot, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven, place meat on warmed platter and serve.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Notes: The key to getting the flavor just right is not to be too heavy-handed with the spices. By using the whole seeds when simmering the pork, you are able to impart a flavor that does not overpower the meat. Also, as a minor point, Mexican oregano is best in this dish, not the Mediterranean oregano.

The meat makes an excellent entree by itself, but our habit is to use it as an absolutely fantastic filling for burritos, tacos, tortas, and a topping for tostadas. Excellent with fresh salsa, sour cream, white or yellow cheeses, etc

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