Puffy Slow Braised Pork Carnitas Tacos are a treat that takes taco Tuesday to a very special place.
Moist, slow-cooked pork is the key to success. The method outlined here is sure to work and create happy faces around your dinner table. Every great taco starts with the meat, or if you're into vegetarian food I would love to hear what you like to use as your proteins.
Ok, meat, but then the condiments really make the rest of the dish. Toppings like cheese are usually found. In our Today, we are going to make homemade Pico De Gallo. For the most part, using a traditional recipe, but with a few upgrades to help elevate the flavor. Plus, we are going to learn a cool trick for cutting tomatoes. Tomatoes can be hard to cut when you're trying to cut them all the same shape and size. For the second topping, we will be making pickled red onion. The pickling process offers a nice pop of acidity to the taco, balances out the flavors, and makes the Pork sing.
Pork is a fatty protein, hard to get around that, but that's one of the key reasons pork tastes so great. Cooking, we are often looking for a balance of flavors and textures. Adding the pickled red onion is that balancing factor that cuts through the fattiness of the pork. All-in-All this recipe rocks...Hope you give it a try and love it.
Preparing The Braised Pork Carnitas Tacos
- Braising meat is the process of slowly cooking meat in a liquid or fat for extended periods of time. (Cooking in fat is also called confit ) Resulting in moist and tender meat that if cooked quickly would usually be tough and hard to eat.
The Key to Braising is first to sear the meat on all sides, then add liquid like stock or water to cover around halfway up the sides of the meat, or, all the way up to completely cover the meat. Will depend on the end product you're shooting for. With traditional Carnitas the pork is braised in pork lard. Today we are making a healthier version and using a more classic braise technique.
Cutting Tomatoes Into Even Squares
- Brunoise Knife Cut - Almost -
Tomatoes have been historically hard to cut into any kind of even shape. This technique is pretty easy to do, but you will need a sharp knife. Remember, a sharp knife is much safer than a dull one. Dull knives catch and slip resulting in cuts.
Making The Perfect Pico De Gallo
A wonderful condiment to so many recipes. But there's one more ingredient most cooks aren't using that takes this to flavor town
Key: -Allowing the Pico de Gallo to setup in the refrigerator for awhile making sure to enhance the over all flavor.
Braised Pork Carnitas Tacos
- 2 pounds Pork Shoulder
- ½ large Onion julienne cut, then cut through the onion to coarse chop for texture
- 1 tablespoon Fresh Cilantro
- ½ whole Serrano /minced
- ½ whole Lime /Juiced
- Fajita season / To Taste
Fajita Seasoning Recipe / BONUS RECIPE
- Makes Extra / BONUS RECIPE
- 1 T Ancho Chili Powder
- 1 T Chili Powder
- 1 T Onion Powder
- 1 T Garlic
- 2 teaspoon Cumin
- 2 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 2 teaspoon Oregano
- 2 teaspoon Sea Salt
- Pickled Red Onion
- 5 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- Add oil to a large pot that the pork will be cooked in... Season pork with salt ( To your taste) Cook over medium-high heat till meat is seared on all sides.
- Remove meat and clean out extra oil and unwanted bits.
- Add fresh oil back to the pot and then add the Spanish mirepoix. Sliced onions, sliced poblano pepper & chopped carrots, and cook till they start to brown and reduce in size. Cook to soften them and start the caramelization process. Sweetens the vegetables.
- Once the vegetables have been sweated, add the pork back to the pot along with the chipotles, fire-roasted tomatoes, coke cola, serranos (or flavor peppers) & water, or stock.
Cooking - Braise the pork on low heat till tender, covered. About 4 to 6 hours. The time will depend on how low your stove temperature goes. 150 t0 160 degrees is perfect. Low and Slow