I already did two posts on Carnitas sous-vide (this post, and this post), so why another one? Well, you can never have too much of a good thing, and those carnitas are so goooooood. So what is the reason for this post? My Mexican friend Alain recommended to eat carnitas with guacamole, and I wanted to try a slightly different technique of cooking the carnitas sous-vide by browning them first, so the flavor of the browning can penetrate into the meat. I also wanted to share another version of guacamole with you. And finally, this time around I prepared fresh corn tortillas to serve the carnitas. The result was awesome, so this is my ‘definitive’ (for now, anyway…) recipe for carnitas sous-vide. Here’s what I did…
For 4 carnitas, serves about 2 for dinner
300 grams (.66 lb) pork shoulder
zest of 1 orange
juice of 2 oranges
1 tsp chipotle chile powder
4 Tbsp pork fat (lard)
For the guacamole
1 ripe avocado
juice of 1 lime
1 green chili pepper, minced
1 small onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
4 corn tortillas
pico de gallo (recipe here)
Cut the pork into cubes. Melt the pork fat in a frying pan.
Add the cubed pork and brown on all sides over high heat.
Turn off the heat. Remove the pork with a slotted spoon and allow to cool on a plate.
When the pan has cooled off somewhat, deglaze the pan with the orange juice (be careful because it may splatter if the pan is still too hot).
Bring to a boil and use a wooden spatula to scrape all the browned tasty bits off the bottom.
Cook over medium heat until the orange juice has reduced to about a third of the original amount. Turn off the heat and allow to cool off.
Add the browned pork including the juices that leaked out of it to the sauce.
Add the orange zest, chipotle powder, and salt to taste.
Stir to mix.
Heat up your sous-vide cooker to 62ºC/144ºF.
Transfer the contents of the pan to a sous-vide pouch and vacuum seal in a chamber vacuum sealer or use a ziploc bag and the water displacement method to close it with as little air as possible.
Cook sous-vide for 48 hours at 62ºC/144ºF.
After those 48 hours, take the pouch out of the sous-vide cooker.
Drain the meat, catching the juices in a frying pan.
Cook the juices over medium high heat until they have reduced to a thick syrupy sauce, stirring now and then and making sure it doesn’t burn.
Meanwhile, make the guacamole. Skin and seed the avocado, and put it in a bowl. Add the lime juice first so it won’t turn brown.
Add onion, garlic, salt, and chili pepper. This time I did not include tomato in the guacamole as there is already tomato in the pico de gallo.
Mash with a fork and stir to mix.
When the sauce is thick and syrupy, add the pork and toss over high heat to coat the pork with the sauce, to warm the pork through, and to crisp it up slightly. Be careful not to burn the sauce.
Serve the carnitas with pico de gallo, guacamole and corn tortillas.
Fill each tortilla…
…roll up and enjoy!
If you can get your hands on fresh porcini mushrooms (also known as cepes in Frech or eekhoorntjesbrood in Dutch), one of the best ways to prepare them is as pappardelle ai funghi porcini.