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Pork Carnitas

Don't let the simplicity of this dish fool you: the meat packs a flavorful punch! The orange and Mexican oregano lend a fragrant undertone to the pork, but even if you don't have any fancy spices on hand, it's just as good seasoned simply with salt. Don't forget the corn tortillas and some delicious toppings. I love some tomatillo-based salsa verde, chopped onions and cilantro, pickled red onions, and salty cotija cheese (queso añejo).

Pork Carnitas

Pork Carnitas

Pork Carnitas

Ingredients

2 pounds pork butt (shoulder), cut into 2-inch slices
1/2 orange
2 teaspoons Mexican oregano (or to taste)
Coarse salt

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Season the pork on all sides with coarse salt and lay in a single layer in a baking dish that just fits the meat.
  2. Squeeze the orange over the meat, and sprinkle with the oregano. Wedge the spent orange rind in between the pieces of pork. Pour about 1/4 cup water around the meat, cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil, and place in the oven for about 1 hour.
  3. Uncover the dish, raise the heat to 450ºF. Cook for another 20 minutes or so until the liquid evaporates. When you hear the meat begin to sizzle in the rendered fat, turn the pork and baste it in the juices and fat. Continue to turn and baste every few minutes until all sides are golden and crispy, about 15 minutes more.
  4. Remove from the oven and transfer the meat to a plate, discarding the orange rind. When the meat is cool enough to touch, shred it coarsely.
  5. Serve with tortillas and your choice of toppings.

Serves 4-6.

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