Carnitas

Yield: 4 servings

Measure Ingredient
3 pounds Boneless pork ribs
2 \N Strips Lime peel
2½ pounds Lard
¼ cup Water

Place the lard and water in a deep heavy pan (a dutch oven or one of your deep cast iron pots would be perfect.) Heat over medium heat until the lard is melted. Add the lime peel and meat (one cook I knew marinated the meat in half orange juice, half beer before cooking -- made a nice flavor). Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer the pork in the lard until cooked through, but not browned, about 1 hour). Increase the heat to medium high, and cook another 15-20 minutes or so, until the meat is well browned and crispy on the outside.

Drain meat, and serve with tortillas, guacamole, homemade pico de gallo, sprigs of fresh cilantro, lime wedges, sliced onion, whatever other condiments appeal to you. The lard can be cooled, strained, and poured into a container. It will keep indefinitely under refrigeration, and may be reused 3-4 times.

When cooked this way, the lard seems to render all of the fat out of the pork, leaving crispy bits of meat that taste like the good, crisp exterior of a pork roast. The inside is tender, juicy, and delicious.

In Mexico, they do this in BIG outdoor kettles, and cook most portions of the pig. The result is used for taco fillings, tortas (Mexican- style Po-Boys), and various other dishes. I've seen versions of the dish that call for cooking the meat very slowly in an oven (probably developed by someone who was horrified at the amount of lard used in the dish), but IMHO, these variations seem to actually be greasier and fattier than the old-fashioned method of frying the pork in lard.

Kathy in Bryan, TX

Submitted By JIM WELLER On 05-20-95

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