Monday, December 14, 2015

Tequila Carnitas

Almost as much as I love tequila, I love food. Even sitting at my desk at 8:30 in the morning I am thinking about eating these carnitas. Growing up and living in the Midwest, we are big meat eaters. Meat is central to nearly every dish we make from bacon at breakfast to steak for dinner. These pork carnitas were a natural fit into my eating habits.
I wasn't the only person eating this delicious shredded meat, my husband and I made these for our friends and family during a football game one Sunday afternoon. It took longer to cook the carnitas than it did to devour them! This recipe serves 6-8 people very comfortably.
Ingredients:
- 4 or 5 lbs. pork shoulder, boneless
- Taco seasoning (I had Old El Paso on hand)
- Salt & Pepper
- Butter
- 2 tablespoons of minced garlic
- 1 large jalapeno seeded and chopped fine
- Juice of about 2 limes
- 1 cup Tequila (I used Tres Agaves Reposado)
- 1/2 cup of water

Cut your pork shoulder into 4 large chunks to make it easier to work with. Season the shoulder with the salt, pepper, and taco seasoning. (I gave my pork shoulder a good coating of the taco seasoning and added just a pinch of salt and pepper since the taco seasoning has plenty of both). Find a large pan. Melt some butter in this pan. Once the butter is melted, add your pork shoulder. Sear/brown the shoulder on all sides. If the spices start to burn, reduce the temperature a bit. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Once seared, put all of the meat into a glass baking dish. Add your garlic, jalapenos, lime juice, tequila, and water. Cover the baking dish with tin foil and put it in the oven. Now comes the waiting. The pork shoulder will have to bake in the oven for 2-3 at this temperature. Once the pork is cooked to a safe temperature (160 degrees), remove the baking dish from the oven. Remove the large fatty bits from the pork and begin to shred the meat with a fork and knife.

Once you have shredded the pork shoulder it will be hard to resist eating all of that porky goodness but do wait! Now you'll need to turn on the broiler of your oven and crisp up the carnitas. You should be able to eyeball when the top of the meat is getting a crust. Then comes the best part of all..... eating! Top these carnitas with anything you prefer, I like avocado and all kinds of other veggies. 

No one was disappointed with the outcome of these Tequila Carnitas! A group of 6 of us demolished the entire pork shoulder.  All that was left was a little lettuce and cheese. I would love to hear from any of you who decide to make these yourself... let me know what you think!

Happy Drinking (& eating)!
Kate

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