Serves 4 to 8
1.5 to 2 litres pork lard (divided use)
1 orange, quartered
1 onion, quartered
1 carrot, thickly sliced
1 bay leaf
1 stick cinnamon
2 whole cloves
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
About 2kg pork shoulder, bone in,
2 tablespoons olive oil salt
60ml bourbon, orange juice or water
Slow-cooking pork in rich lard and spices gives the meat an incredible flavour and texture. It’s fairly easy and the rewards are great, with the meat falling off the bone. Carnitas makes a great filling for tacos, but you could also use it to fill a burrito or enchiladas.
In a large, deep pot, melt 100ml of the lard over low heat.
Add orange, onion and carrot and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add bay, cinnamon, cloves, fennel and pepper. Stir to combine. Add remaining lard and cook gently until melted, about 3 to 5 minutes. Carefully add pork shoulder, making sure there is enough lard to cover.
Cover with baking paper and simmer for 2½ to 3 hours or until meat is falling from bone. (Alternatively, use an oven-safe pot and transfer carefully to a preheated 150°C oven.) Allow meat to cool enough to handle, remove from pan and shred using two forks. Strain and reserve the lard for future use.
Heat olive oil in fry pan and quickly sauté shredded meat over high heat until golden brown. Remove from pan and season with salt. Deglaze fry pan with bourbon, orange juice or water. Pour resulting liquid over shredded pork.
Serve with fresh warm corn tortillas and some other additions like pico de gallo, and let guests make their own tacos.