02 June 2008

carnitas de julia

this is the easiest thing i cook. it's great for the warmer months too. all you need equipment-wise is a crock pot. the ingredients and part of the procedure i found in gourmet magazine. i love me some foodie porn. anyway.. it was written by amy finley, the winner of last year's food tv contest. i made it, and i could tell it was lacking one thing... a certain crispiness. also, no garlic, and that's a crime.

there's one thing in it that might not be available in just any grocery store though. mexican oregano. if you don't have that or can't get it, i'd throw a bay leaf in instead. or, omit it entirely. it'll still be tres delish.

your mise-en-place:

1 5 lb boneless pork shoulder (butt end preferably), cut in about 5 1½" thick slabs
1 T salt (and use good salt dammit! i use gray salt from trader joe's)
1 T pepper (and i use a mill and it takes forever, but it's worth it)
1 T dried mexican oregano (or one bay leaf, or not)
2 good-sized onions, sliced into ¼" thick rings

4 large cloves garlic, smashed

one slow cooker

put the pork into the crock part of your slow cooker. in a small bowl, combine salt, pepper and mexican oregano. toss with the pork in the crock. place slightly broken up onion rings on top. place cover on crock and cook on low heat for 7-8 hrs.

remove to a plate to cool enough to shred. shred into large-ish chunks.

place a 12" (or larger, if you're lucky!) saute pan over med-hi heat with 1 T vegetable oil. this is inportant! do not forget that teeny little bit of oil. it will make all the difference in your crispies. when it's just starting to smoke, throw in all the pork and resist the urge to mess with it too much. just leave it be for about 4 mins. then bust it up a little and flip it over. give it another 4 mins. and you're good to go.

i usually serve this with steamed corn tortillas (handmade if you live where you can find them *swoon*), avocado slices and pico de gallo. i think it's the best thing i cook.


The Bizza said...

That sounds yummy. I will have to try that recipe!

Maven said...

Is Mexican oregano the same thing as epazote, or is that something different?

jOoLz said...

mexican oregano and epazote are not the same thing... and, i found this on wikipedia:

"Mexican oregano, Lippia graveolens (Verbenaceae) is closely related to lemon verbena. It is a highly studied herb that is said to be of some medical use and is common in curandera female shamanic practices in Mexico and the Southwestern United States. Mexican oregano has a very similar flavour to oregano, but is usually stronger. It is becoming more commonly sold outside of Mexico, especially in the United States. It is sometimes used as a substitute for epazote leaves[citation needed]; this substitution would not work the other way round."

hope that helps!