Wine-Braised Carnitas

Make these! Immediately. Actually you can't immediately, because they take 4 hours. They are well worth the wait though and just as much fun to cook as they are to eat. My photography skills are poor, but please don't hold it against Carnita.

  • 1/2 pound bacon

  • 2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced

  • 1 carrot, quartered

  • 1 stalk celery, quartered

  • Small pinch of minced garlic

  • 1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed and seeded

  • 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 6 pieces

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups dry red wine

  • 1/2 orange

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 to 2 cups beef stock or broth

  • Begin by cooking the bacon in a large dutch oven over the stove. When the bacon is crisp, remove and place the pieces on a paper towel.  Use the fat produced by the bacon to sautee the onions, about 15 minutes or until translucent. Remove onions from the pot.
    In a food processor, combine the celery, carrot, jalapeno, and garlic. Puree until the mixture is in very small pieces. Place in the pot and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add a drop of oil if necessary.

    Transfer the jalapeno mixture to a bowl. Heat the olive oil in the dutch oven, then braise the pork on each side, about 3-5 minutes each piece.

    Transfer the meat to a plate. Replace the carrot mixture in the pot and cook, stirring about 3 minutes. Stir in the onions and tomato paste, cook 3 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and stir for 2 minutes to thicken.  Pour in the wine and bring to a boil, then simmer until reduced by half - about 8-10 minutes. 

    Return the meat to the pot. Squeeze in the juice from the 1/2 orange, then peel off part of the rind and add to the pot. Stir in the oregano and bay leaves. Add in the beef broth until the top of the pork is covered.
    Cover, transfer to the oven and cook for 3 hours at 325. 

    Transfer the pork to a bowl using tongs, then shred. Strain the sauce (to remove bay leaves and orange rind) - and return to the pot. Let simmer until it thickens, then stir in 1/2 cup sour cream.

    Serve the pork on corn or flour tortillas, top with sauce. Eat! Good luck stopping!

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