Intro: Asian-ish Carnitas
The title is misleading. I had grand visions of some sort of fusion of south of the border and far east goodness. It turned out mostly south of the border. You know . . . life, work, kids happen and you're left with "Oh f*^%#@ it, let's just cook it and eat. I don't want to go to the store again."
Step 1: Ingredients
I typically season by looks. Getting yourself to the point of knowing how to do this consistently takes time, practice, and attention, but it's worth it. Practice and rid yourself of the tyranny of measuring utensils! Your amounts will depend on the amount of pork you're dealing with.
- Pork! - here I used boneless country style ribs
- Hot red pepper powder
- Jaggery* or brown sugar
- Soy sauce*
- Fish sauce (optional)**
* See! I tried to bring on the Asian.
**This seemed like a bit of a misstep . . . it made the marinade smell like an uncleaned house of ill repute. Got whiffs of it every time I opened the refrigerator door. And while it cooked. Fortunately it turned out okay in the end, but I was worried for 24hrs there. In the finished product you couldn't tell. It's optional, but tread lightly.
Step 2: Mix and Sit
Season your pork. I like to do this first and separately so I make sure it doesn't get overdone. Add all of the other ingredients and let it rest in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
For you measurement sticklers I'd say I used about a tablespoon of all of the dry ingredients except salt and hot pepper powder. Probably half a tablespoon of those. 1/4 c of soy and a tablespoon or two of fish sauce. Seriously . . . it's potent.
Step 3: Fire It Up!
I removed the stinky pork from the marinade and dried it off with towels. You could cook this any number of ways, but I chose to poach it in oil like confit. Carnitas are typically cooked in lard, but I don't have access to any good lard, just the processed rot that the store sells in tubs.
Cover the pork with the oil of your choice and simmer it on the stove top for . . . oh, I think it was about three hours.
Step 4: Shred and Put to Work
The pork pulled apart nicely. From there I decided to do enchiladas. Pork, onions, and cheese. Rolled up and tucked into a glass 13x9 and covered in a sauce and cheese.
The sauce was just something I slapped together. A sautee of garlic and onions, after which I slapped in some cumin to cook and A LOAD of chili powder I'd been wanting to use up. Salt, pepper, and add tomatoes to cook down. Give it a blend with a stick blender or regular blender if you want it smooth-smooooooooooth.
Step 5: Eat It
My . . . it do look tasty. And it was. So in spite of being wary of the fish sauce it really did turn out very well. I had actually intended to make steamed buns to eat this pork on, but . . . you know . . . life.