Week 6 of our porkilicious CSA brought me a 3.7 lb boston butt with a glorious fat cap and marbling throughout. I took one look at that chunk of meat (the approximate current weight of Christine's baby bump, as we were discussing last night)and thought about how perfect it would be all chunked up with crisped, caramelized edges, doused in salsa and crema and wrapped in soft corn tortillas. The carnitas cooked for about 3 hours, exuding an intensely incredible porky aroma, apparently all through the 4th floor of our building. But the amazing thing about these carnitas is that you just leave them there to cook and DO NOTHING. They go from pink, to brown, to crispy brown, to heaven, and you barely even touch them. MAGICAL.
The roasted tomatillo salsa was pretty damn easy, too, and the perfect tangy, fresh accompaniment. Recipes after the jump:
Adapted from Homesick Texan
3 pounds of pork butt
1 cup of orange juice
3 cups of water
2 teaspoons of salt
1. Cut pork into strips (three inches by one inch), add to a large pot with the liquids and salt. Bring to a boil and then simmer uncovered on low for 2 hours. Do not touch the meat.
2. After two hours, turn heat up to medium high, and continue to cook until all the liquid has evaporated and the pork fat has rendered (about 30 minutes). Stir a few times, to keep pork from sticking to bottom of pan.
3. When pork has browned on both sides, it’s ready (there will be liquid fat in the pan). Serve either cubed or shredded (pork will be tender enough that just touching it will cause it to fall apart). Serve as soft tacos with soft corn tortillas, green salsa (recipe to follow), crema, sliced radishes, chopped fresh cilantro, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
ROASTED TOMATILLO SALSA
1 1/2 lb tomatillos
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon sugar
3 Jalapeño peppers
Salt to taste
Remove papery husks from tomatillos and rinse well to remove some of the stickiness.
Cut in half and place cut side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place under a broiler for about 7-10 minutes to lightly blacken the skin.
Place tomatillos, lime juice, onions, cilantro, jalapenos, and sugar in a food processor (or blender) and pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and mixed. Season to taste with salt. Cool in refrigerator.
Makes 3 cups.