"It must have been the subliminal beer and liquor advertising that got me, because I wasn't even thinking about Cinco de Mayo when I decided to make this milk-braised pork carnitas recipe. The milk braising beforehand seems to give the meat a little extra succulence. The subtle sweetness from the orange is also very nice."
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 30 mins
3 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into large pieces
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt, or more to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 orange, juiced and zested
2 cups whole milk
Add all ingredients to list
1Season pork with pepper and salt.
2Heat oil in large pot over high heat. Working in batches, cook pork in the hot oil until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Return all cooked pork and accumulated juice to pot.
3Season pork with bay leaves, cumin, dried oregano, and cayenne pepper. Stir in fresh orange juice, orange zest, and milk. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until meat is fork tender but not falling apart, about 2 hours.
4Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C)
5Remove pork from liquid. Skim some fat from the pot to grease a baking dish. Transfer the pieces of pork to the baking dish. Drizzle about 2 more tablespoons of the floating fat over the meat. Season with more salt, if needed.
6Bake in preheated oven until pork is browned, about 15 minutes. Stir pork.
7Turn on oven's broiler. Cook pork under broiler until crisp, 2 to 3 minutes.
You can strain and reduce the cooking liquid if you want, and do "wet" tacos by adding some of the juice to chopped meat.
Aluminum foil helps keep food moist, ensures it cooks evenly, keeps leftovers fresh, and makes clean-up easy.