Wednesday, June 8, 2011

(Sort of) Carnitas Tacos

Carnitas Tacos
Anyone experienced with true carnitas, can see that the above is entirely too moist... which doesn't make for a bad tasting taco by any means, but it wasn't what I was going for. Unfortunately I did a poor job of following Kenji's directions in this excellent recipe at Serious Eats (Kenji's discussion of the rationale for said recipe can be found here). You see, when I got to this step:
Transfer pork and liquid to strainer. Let drain for 10 minutes. Transfer pork back to casserole. You should end up with about 1/2 cup liquid and 1/2 cup fat. Using a flat spoon or de-fatter, skim fat from surface and add back to pork.
I read it as "defat the liquid and add back to pork" which, of course, is the exact opposite of what I was supposed to do... which is entirely clear if you look down and see that the pork cooking liquid is supposed to go into the salsa. I tried to strain it out once I realized my mistake, but it was too late.

So I ended up with too moist carnitas. Broiling it helped, and did get me some crispy bits, so next time I bring out the leftovers I'll broil just what I'm going to eat... which should be quick (important when it's 100 degrees)... and do a more thorough job of crisping things up.

UPDATE: Crisping up a small serving of my overly moist carnitas worked like a charm. I just used one of those toaster oven trays, so the layer was thin, and put it under the broiler for 5 minutes. Texture was perfect... though I suppose I risk drying out the pork too much.

UPDATE 2: A picture of the improved tacos...
Better Carnitas Tacos