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Recipe: Confit Pork Carnitas

The Butler Potts Point Confit Pork Carnitas

Succulent, slow-cooked meat wrapped in fresh tortillas: this is Head Chef Amber Doig’s go-to comfort food.

“It’s a pretty simple throw-together dish, as long as your follow the every aspect of the recipe it’s going to turn out perfectly” – Amber

Serves 6-8.

Ingredients

2kg x pork shoulder (bone out and skin off, cut into fist-sized chunks)

Brining Solution:
2L x water
100g x salt
5 x garlic cloves
5g x coriander seeds
5g x cumin seeds
5g x peppercorns
3 x bay leaves
10 x garlic cloves

Braising Liquid:
2 x cinnamon quills, toasted
4 x star-anise pods, toasted
5g x peppercorns, toasted
4 x guajillo chillies, toasted whole
2 x tomatoes, halved
2 x oranges, halved
1 x carrot, roughly chopped
1 x lime, halved
4 x bay leaves
15g x Mexican oregano (or dried marjoram)
250ml x orange juice
250ml x white wine
1kg x pork lard (or a 50/50 combination of vegetable oil & olive oil)

To serve:
Flour or corn tortillas
Lime wedges
Shaved or diced white onion
Shaved radishes
Fresh coriander
Your preferred salsas, hot sauce & Mexican-style condiments

Method

Combine brining solution ingredients in a large container or pot. Stir well to dissolve salt. Submerge pork pieces in brine, cover, refrigerate and allow to cure for 12 hours.

Preheat oven to 165°C (no fan). Remove pork from brine and allow to drain. Place pork in a 6–8L deep-roasting dish.

Add all braising liquid ingredients to the pork, ensuring meat is covered entirely by liquid. Place a sheet of baking paper on top of pork and cover with lid or aluminium foil. Place in preheated oven and cook for 3.5 hours or until pork is tender. Remove from oven, remove foil and allow to rest for 30 minutes.

Remove pork from braise. Strain and reserve stock, which can be used for another braise (the fat can also be used for cooking, and the broth can be used as a flavour enhancer for soups or sauces).

Heat a skillet or heavy-based pan (cast iron or similar) over medium heat with a little vegetable oil. Fry the pork pieces in batches until the meat is crispy in parts, shredded slightly and heated through. Check flavour, adding more seasoning if necessary.

Place pork on serving platter. Arrange salsas, shaved onions, fresh coriander, lime and any other condiments in serving bowls next to the platter. To finish, warm a stack of soft tortillas in a hot pan (10–12 seconds on each side). Keep warm in a cloth napkin, tea towel or another improvised tortilla holder.

Assemble tacos and pair with a good-quality Mexican beer, tequila or mezcal, or Margarita!

This article was produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Applejack.
Photography credit: Jiwon Kim