This simple recipe for making succulent morsels of carnitas requires nothing more than pork, salt, and water. Whereas braising usually calls for searing the meat before cooking slowly in liquid, this method is the exact opposite. The pieces of pork shoulder are slowly simmered first then browned in its own rendered fat.
recipe adapted from Diana Kennedy’s Essential Cuisines of Mexico
Little Pieces of Browned Pork
3 pounds skinless and boneless pork shoulder
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
- Make carnitas on your not-so-well-maintained cast iron skillet and it will be perfectly seasoned after a few times.
Cut the meat into small pieces. In a heavy pan, arrange the pieces of pork in a single layer and cover with water. It’s fine to crowd the pan initially – the pieces of meat will shrink after some of the fat is rendered.
Bring to a boil then lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer while uncovered. It may take around 2 hours for the liquid to completely evaporate.
Once all of the water has evaporated, turn the pieces of meat until lightly crusty and browned all over. Serve immediately.
It doesn’t have to be served with guacamole, fresh salsa, and tacos. Since this carnitas is simply seasoned with salt, try adding it to anything that could use fork-tender bits of pork.