In Mexico, this street-food favorite is prepared by slowly simmering large pieces of pork in lard until the meat is fall-apart tender. Here, a Mexican lager replaces the lard with delicious, healthier results.
Carnitas with Pickled Red Onion
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. sugar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 boneless pork shoulder roast (3 to 4 lb./1.5 to 2 kg)
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) canola oil
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bottle (12 fl. oz./375 ml) Mexican lager–style beer
- 2 cans (each 4 oz./125 g) diced green peppers, with liquid
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, chopped
- 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) chicken broth
- Juice of 1 large orange
- Warm corn or flour tortillas, lime wedges, salsa and chopped cilantro for serving
1. In a 5-qt (5-l) Dutch oven over medium-high heat, combine the vinegar, sugar and 1 tsp. salt and stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Place the red onion in a bowl and pour the vinegar mixture over it. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for up to 1 week until ready to use. Wipe out the pot with a paper towel.
2. Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).
3. Season the pork roast with salt and pepper. Place the pot over medium-high heat and warm the oil. Cook the pork until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter.
4. Pour off all but a thin layer of the fat from the pot and place over medium-high heat. Add the yellow onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the beer, stirring to scrape up the browned bits. Add the green peppers with their liquid, cinnamon and chipotle chile and stir well to combine.
5. Return the pork to the pot, add the broth and orange juice, and bring to a simmer. Cover, transfer to the oven and cook until the pork is tender, 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and cover loosely with aluminum foil until ready to carve. Skim the fat off the cooking liquid. Using a sharp knife and a fork, cut and shred the pork into bite-size pieces. Arrange the meat on a platter and moisten it lightly with the cooking liquid. Serve immediately with the pickled red onion, tortillas, lime wedges, salsa and cilantro. Serves 6 to 8.
The Dutch Oven Cookbook covers everything you need to know about making the most of this indispensable kitchen workhorse with 25 easy-to-follow recipes.