Tuesday, May 7, 2013
5 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 5-inch chunks, trimmed of excess fat
1 Tablespoon coarse sea salt
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons chile powder
2 bay leaves
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly-sliced
Chopped onion and cilantro
Rub the pieces of pork shoulder all over with salt. Refrigerate for several hours or up to 1 day.
Heat the oil in a roasting pan (or dutch oven) set on the stovetop. Cook the pieces of pork shoulder in a single layer until very well-browned, turning them as little as possible so they get nice and dark before flipping them around.
Once all the pork is browned, remove them from the pot and blot away any excess fat with a paper towel, then pour in about a cup of water, scraping the bottom of the pan with a flat-edged utensil to release all the tasty brown bits.
Heat the oven to 350°F.
Add the pork back to the pan and add enough water so the pork pieces are 2⁄3rd’s submerged in liquid. Add the cinnamon stick and stir in the chile powder, bay leaves, cumin and garlic.
Braise in the oven uncovered for about 3 hours, turning the pork a few times during cooking, until much of the liquid is evaporated and the pork is falling apart. Remove the pan from the oven and lift the pork pieces out of the liquid and set them on a platter.
Once the pork pieces are cool enough to handle, shred them into bite-sized pieces.
Pour out the oil from the pan and wipe clean. Return the pork pieces back to the pan and cook on the stove top until crispy and crackly.
Serve in warm tortillas and top with your choice of toppings.
Adapted from The Sweet Life by David Lebovitz