Hello friends! It’s great to be back on the blog after being away on our family vacation. May was a crazy month for us! First, we went to pick up our son Casey in Ann Arbor. Freshman year went so fast. One year down and three more to go. Next on the schedule was our son Sean’s graduation from the College of Charleston mid-May. Graduation day was perfect…sunny and mid-eighties! It couldn’t have been nicer! And then a few days after graduation we left on our family trip to Italy. We visited Venice, Rome, Sorrento and the Isle of Capri. It was an incredible trip! I think I loved Sorrento the most. Our hotel was in a little fishing village with a beautiful view of the Bay of Naples. It was also right next to a marina and a boat manufacturing company. My husband Tom was in heaven! We hadn’t done a big family vacation in quite a while, so it was really nice to be together without any distractions.
The food in Italy was delicious….gnocchi, bolognese, spaghetti carbonara, bruschetta, gelato and all the wine and Limoncello you could drink, but as crazy as this sounds I really missed the variety we have back here at home! There’s Italian, American, Chinese, Thai, German, Southern food and one of my favorites, Mexican. Something else I missed while we were away (besides our dog, Tucker!) was cooking! I thought a little break from the kitchen might be nice while we were on vacation, but I was jonesin’ the whole trip to whip out one of my favorite cookbooks and make something delicious! So as soon as I got home I knew I had to make one of our favorites and it didn’t take long to decide on something Mexican with these Crispy Pork Carnitas Tacos at the top of the list!
I really think you are going to love these tacos. The pork carnitas is so easy to make and it’s so flavorful. Just combine the ingredients in a large Dutch oven and two hours later you will be having your own little Mexican fiesta. The key here to moist and tender pork is to cook it low and slow. After it’s done cooking, you shred it and then place it under the broiler to crisp up. Warm up your tortillas, add some pico de gallo, crumbled Monterey jack cheese and shredded cabbage or whatever your favorite toppings are and you’re ready to go! Enjoy and I hope everyone has a great week!
- 4 lb. boneless pork shoulder cut into 3-inch chunks
- 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. ground pepper
- 1 large onion peeled and halved
- 2 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 cinnamon stick or 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large orange juiced
- 1 lime juiced
- 2 cups water
- toppings - crumbled or shredded Monterey jack cheese pico de gallo, shredded red cabbage, chopped cilantro
- tortillas for serving
- Pico de Gallo:
- 4 Roma tomatoes - seeded and finely chopped about 2 cups
- 1/4 cup onion finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic finely chopped
- 1 jalapeno finely chopped - seeds and ribs removed
- 2 Tbsp. lime juice
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- kosher salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine all ingredients (including orange rinds) in a large Dutch oven. Simmer mixture over medium high heat. Once it comes to a simmer, cover and place in oven. Cook 2 hours or until meat falls apart when shredded with two forks.
Remove pot from the oven. Remove the meat from the pot with a slotted spoon and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Shred the meat with 2 forks, spreading evenly on sheet.
Remove all solids from the pot and heat the liquid mixture over medium heat until it thickens, about 15 minutes. Drizzle half the liquid over the shredded pork.
Place the baking sheet in the oven and broil for 5-7 minutes. Flip the pork over and drizzle with the remaining liquid and continue to broil for an additional 5-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Combine all ingredients for pico de gallo in medium bowl. Chill.
Serve pork carnitas in warm tortillas with crumbled Monterey jack cheese, pico de gallo, shredded red cabbage and chopped cilantro.