Friday, April 2, 2010

Take a Taco for a Walko: The Recipe!

5 pounds of boneless pork shoulder (I made 12 pounds last time, but 5 pounds will be easier the first time around)
1 orange cut in half
salt to taste
1/4 cup lard or vegetable oil
a tall pot

for the tacos
Corn tortillas (smaller is better, if you have a Mexican grocer near you, try to find the smaller 4 or 5 inch ones)
1/2 a small onion finely chopped
1 bunch of cilantro chopped
red salsa
green salsa
lime wedges (optional)

1. Cut the pork into 2" cubes

2. Melt the lard in a tall pot over medium heat. Brown the pork on all sides

3. Fill pot with water so that it covers all of the pork by about 1 inch, Add a couple of tablespoons of salt. Set the heat to medium high, till it starts to bubble. Reduce heat and simmer for an hour and a half.

4. Add orange and simmer for another hour till the pork is able to shred easily.

5. Remove orange, crank the heat up to high and boil off all of the liquid (if you're using more than 5 pounds, you'll have to stop after about an hour and drain excess liquid, otherwise your pork will turn to mush).

6. Transfer to a dish and let it cool in the refrigerator. You might want to taste it and see if it needs salt.

While the pork is cooling, you will want to make your salsas. The green salsa is mild and chunky, the red salsa is smooth and hot.

Red Salsa
2 Large tomatoes or 8 roma tomatoes.
2 habanero chiles
10 chiles de arbol
4-6 cloves of garlic (unpeeled)
a splash of cider vinegar
2 tablespoons of water

1. stem and seed the Chiles de arbol. Break them up into small pieces and put in a small bowl. Cover with boiling water and let them soak for half an hour. then drain the water.

2. (add the garlic and jalapenos from the green salsa recipe to this step) Place tomatoes, habaneros and garlic on a cookie sheet and put them under a broiler. You want these things to be black on everyside, so keep an eye on them, turn them as they start to blacken. The smaller things will start to blacken sooner, so get those out of there as soon as they're done. Transfer to a plate or bowl.

3. Throw everything in the blender and liquefy. The thinner you can get this salsa, the better. Salt to taste if you'd like.

Green Salsa
2 11 oz cans of Tomatillos or 1 large can (I could only find the small cans) DRAINED
2 jalapenos
2 cloves of garlic (unpeeled)
1/2 a small onion, chopped
1/2 of a very soft avocado (optional)
salt to taste

1. Char the jalapenos and garlic under the broiler, to that they are black on all sides.

2. put everything except the salt into the blender and pulse till you have a course puree.

3. Transfer to a bowl, add just a little bit of water to thin it a little bit, so that it your able to spoon it onto your tacos easily. Salt to taste.

Finishing your tacos.

1. Heat a skillet on the stove, set to medium high. We're going to fry up the carnitas till they are crispy in spots, we don't want them to be crunchy, just crisped up like they have a crust. You shouldn't need any fat in the pan, the pork should be able to fry in it's own fat.

you should end up with something that looks like this

2. Warm your tortillas. There are a few different ways to do this:

microwave them in a damp paper towel for about 30 seconds (don't do them this way)

steam them (don't do them this way either)

warm them on an greased skillet set to medium, flipping tortillas frequently till soft (this is what I prefer)

or warm them on a skillet set to medium-high with a tiny bit of lard, this is like the other skillet method, except you want the tortillas to be slightly crispy in spots

3. Once your tortillas are done, add meat, onion, cilantro and salsa, and enjoy.

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