Saturday, March 3, 2012

Discovering My Inner Latina

On the iPod: Enrique Iglesias, who else? 
On the brain: My Spanish lessons
On the menuCaramelized Onion, Corn, and Pork Carnitas

While this is a multi-step, multi-day process, they are so muy delicioso, that it makes it all worthwhile. Like a lot of my recipes, this one is totally up for adaptation, substitution, etc.

Buckle up. You're in for a long blog post.

Step Uno:

Cook giant piece of meat (pork to be specific). Here's my recipe:

1 T salt
1 T cumin

1 T garlic powder
1/2 T coriander 
1/2 T oregano
2 t chili powder
2 bay leaves

7 lb bone-in Boston butt
4 cloves garlic, smashed
3 cups chicken broth
1 onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 jalapeno, coarsely chopped
handful of cilantro

Mix together seasonings and massage onto the butt. (Hey! Get your mind out of the gutter!)
Put the bay leaves and smashed garlic at the bottom of your slow cooker. Put the butt on top, fat side up. Pour the chicken broth into the crock pot, careful not wash the seasonings off the butt. Crank the slow cooker to low and cook for 7 hours. Turn the butt over halfway through. Add the onions, jalapenos, and cilantro for the last hour of cooking. 

After 7 hours, turn the crock pot and take the lid off. Let it cool for an hour before you handle it. Take the bone out and pull the meat. You can use it right away, put in the fridge for a few days, or freeze it. It makes so much meat, I like to do a little of each. 

Step Dos:
Caramelize the onions. You can do this anyway you please, but here is my method:

1. Chop an onion and put it in a skillet with some olive oil on medium high heat.

2. Let them cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to brown and look like this: 
3. Add a hefty pinch of salt and sugar and stir it around.

4. Turn the heat to low / medium low, and let the onions cook for about 30 minutes. I know it's a long time, but pour yourself a glass of wine and catch up on your Words With Friends while you wait.  You don't need to stir per se, but just keep an eye on them so they don't burn. They'll look like this when they're done: 

Step Tres:
Cook the corn.
Follow the steps found in my quinoa recipe here

Re: Corn
Are you ready to make a pact? This summer, promise me that you will freeze corn. Promise. Do it. It's a lot of work, but come February, and you feel like having some fried corn in your pork carnitas, you will thank yourself. Look for a freezing corn blog post this summer.

Step Quatro
You're on the home stretch.  You're ready to put it all together.

Add some vegetable oil to the cast iron skillet, and add your shredded pork. Remember that? Seems like ages ago that you made that. Let it reheat in the oil, and stir it around, so it doesn't burn but gets a little crispy on the edges. Once it warms, add the onions, corn, and about 1/3 cup of jarred pickled jalapenos. Stir everything to combine and reheat, and voila, carnitas son finito.

Step Cinco:
Top with accouterments.
I serve my carnitas on a warmed corn tortilla with pico de gallo, guacamole, queso fresco, and some chopped cilantro.

Wow! Congratulations! You made it to the end of my blog post! Now put the Enrique on and discover your inner Latina!

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