I had never made my own carnitas before. Frankly, I thought they were so simple that I would inevitably mess them up. I wouldn't season them properly, I wouldn't cook them right, and I wouldn't use the proper method. So when I came across Diana Kennedy's recipe for carnitas I knew that this would be the recipe. I came across her book The Cuisines of Mexico at the used book store a couple weeks/months ago. It contains great recipes and explanations on regional cuisines of Mexico, as well as ingredients and techniques. Her recipe couldn't be simpler. Seriously, there are three ingredients: pork, water, and salt. I know. I was shocked too. Where does all that flavor come from? I swore that there must have been chiles or cumin, or something? Trust me. This recipe really does the pork justice.
3 lbs pork shoulder, bone and skin removed, cut into small pieces (about 2 x 3/4 inches)
Cold water to cover
2 tsps salt, or to taste
1) Place the meat in a dutch oven and cover with the water, not too much, just enough to cover, then add the salt
2) Cook the meat with the lid off until all the liquid has evaporated, then lower the heat and continue cooking the meat in its own rendered fat, letting the edges crisp up, turning the meat to brown completely, this should take about 1 hour or so
3) Once the meat is browned it should be crispy and fried and falling apart a little. Heat some corn tortillas, chop some cilantro and onion, and you have yourself an amazing dinner!