Carnitas (Braised Pork Shoulder)
Yield: 10 to 12 servings
- 1 pork shoulder, about 5 pounds
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 carrot
- 2 celery stalks
- 1 large yellow or Spanish onion
- 2 oranges
- 3 limes
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons black pepper
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup adobo, chile paste reserved from canned chipotles
- 1 to 2 cups water
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Trim pork shoulder of excessive fat and cut into 1 inch cubes.
- Cut carrot, celery and onion into a small dice and cut oranges and limes into halves.
- Heat a large rondo, or braising pan, on the stovetop over medium-high heat.
- Pour in oil and sauté diced vegetables.
- After 3 to 4 minutes add cubed pork shoulder. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes until pork begins to brown.
- Season the mixture: Add salt, pepper, paprika and cumin.
- Next, add orange and lime halves.
- Add vinegars and adobo paste, followed by 1 to 2 cups water, or enough to almost cover cubed pork.
- Bake the pork: Cover with lid or foil and place in oven. Bake for about 2 hours or until pork is fork tender.
- Remove from oven and serve with tortillas, guacamole, salsa verde and chipotle mojo.
Traditional garnishes include grated sharp dry cheeses, radishes, sour cream, shredded cabbage and limes.