Sunday, January 24, 2010

Carnitas, Cerdo Loco Style

One of the things on my to do list for cooking is to make carnitas.  After all, I really like Chipotle's carnitas soft tacos; and I wanted to make it for myself and more for my tastes.  So, I googled carnitas recipes and did not find one that I liked or wanted to do.  The traditional carnitas recipes call for braising/cooking the pork in lard; however, I have too much "lard" around my waist and I did not want to add to it.  In the end, took a couple of recipes and added my own twists.

One twist was to use a four-pepper rub (native nambe, hatch red, ancho and chipotle) which added a kick to the pork.  The second twist was to braise the pork in not only chicken stock and broth, but also beer.  The combination of spicy peppers and beer turns the pork into something I call a Cerdo Loco, or "crazy pig" style. It is a spicy version of carnitas and you have to be a little crazy to eat it.

And, as always, feel free to modify the herbs and spices to your liking.

A Chef Bolek Original

Ingredients (for the pork shoulder):
1 Pork Shoulder, either Boston Butt or Picnic
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup chicken broth
2 12oz bottles of beer (your choice, I think a lager works well)
4 bay leaves

Ingredients (for the rub):
2 Teaspoons of kosher salt.
1 Tablespoon of paprika
1 Teaspoon of native nambe pepper (or any other spicy, hot pepper)
1 Teaspoon of red hatch pepper (or a slightly less spicy pepper)
1 Tablespoon of ancho chili pepper (I used one whole pod, ground using a coffee grinder)
1 Tablespoon of chipotle chilli pepper (I used 4-5 pods, ground using a coffee grinder)
1 Tablespoon of garlic powder
1 Tablespoon of cardamom
1 Tablespoon of dried oregano
2 Teaspoons of dried thyme
1 Teaspoon dried coriander

1.  Mix all of the rub ingredients together and apply liberally to the pork.  Wrap up pork with plastic wrap and put in refrigerator for at least a couple of hours.

2.  Put the pork in a large pot (I used an 8 quart braiser) and add the stock, broth and beer.

3. Turn the heat to medium until the liquid boils, then reduce to low.

4.  Cook for a really long time as much as six hours or until the meat falls of the bone and shreds easily.

5. Shred meat with two forks.

I usually serve it with soft tacos, garnished with a basic salsa (tomato, onion, cilantro and lemon/lime juice), some greens and a cheese (such as, in this case, Manchego).  


Saturday, January 23, 2010

The New Year

Okay, so I have been really bad at updating this blog.  I mean, really bad.  I looked at the dates on the prior posts and realized that I have not been adding recipes as frequently as I should.  One reason is that I simply upload the photos of what I make to Facebook, along with brief explanations.  Unfortunately, for those who are not on Facebook, you do not get to see the food.

So I am resolving to make an effort to reverse everything, working primarily off this blog and linking it to Facebook.  How I will accomplish that is yet to be determined.  I will also begin putting some of the things I did on Facebook on this page to share it with those of you who have not seen it.

I hope everyone is having a great new year.  Check back soon.