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Pork Carnitas with Pickled Red Onions

Serves: Makes 6 Servings


Pork Carnitas:

  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 medium jalapeño, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle paste
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Pickled Red Onions:
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced on a Mandoline
  • 1 small jalapeño, thinly sliced
  • ½cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 ½teaspoons sea salt

  • Charred Tomatillo Salsa:

    • ½ pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and patted dry
    • 1 medium white onion, quartered
    • 1 medium jalapeño, seeded and chopped
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus more to taste
    • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste

    For Serving:

  • Warm tortillas
  • Shredded cabbage
  • Cilantro leaves
  • Lime wedges
  • Charred tomatillo salsa
  • Procedures:

    To prepare carnitas: To a large bowl, add salt, pepper, oregano, and cumin; whisk to combine. Add the pork chunks to the spices and toss to coat evenly. Heat the pressure cooker using a searing function and add oil. When oil is shimmering, add the pork and cook, in batches, until browned on all sides. Add the remaining carnitas ingredients to the pressure cooker and cook according to manufacturers’ instructions, about 60 minutes, or until pork is fork-tender. (To braise pork without a pressure cooker, sear the pork in a Dutch oven and then braise, covered, over medium-low heat until tender, 3 to 4 hours.)

    To finish carnitas: Crisp up in a skillet or with a slotted spoon or spider, transfer pork from the braising liquid to a rimmed baking sheet and shred with two forks. Top pork with braising juices, if desired, and serve with pickled onions, warm tortillas, shredded cabbage, cilantro, lime wedges, and salsa.

    To pickle red onions:To a medium bowl or jar, add onion and jalapeño. To a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add remaining ingredients; bring to a boil and remove from heat. Pour liquid over onions and jalapeño; let stand at room temperature until cooled. Pickled onions can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 10 days.

    To make the charred tomatillo salsa: Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat, or preheat oven to broil with the rack in the positon closest to the top. Place tomatillos and onions directly on a grill, if grilling, or on a foil-lined baking sheet, if using a broiler; grill or broil until blistered and beginning to soften, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

    To a food processor, add the charred tomatillos and onion, jalapeño, lime juice, cilantro, and salt; pulse to blend into a chunky puree. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and additional lime juice. Add more jalapeño or leave the seeds in if you like a spicier salsa.

    Tested and perfected in the Sur la Table kitchen

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