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Culinary Wednesday

May 1, 2013 - Kristy MacKaben
Guess what's this weekend?? Cinco de Mayo!! In our house we get all hyped up about the holiday to celebrate Mexican heritage. It's not just about the margaritas, though that is my absolute favorite drink. We just love the delicious food, the decorations and the overall festive fun of the holiday. In Chicago there are a ton of Cinco de Mayo celebrations in the city and suburbs. I'm sure we will hit at least one this weekend. One thing we probably won't do is take the kids to a Mexican restaurant on Cinco de Mayo. It would just be insanely crowded with margarita-guzzling 20-somethings. Instead we will make some of our own Mexican fare. Here is a recipe for one of our favorite Mexican meals: pork carnitas.

Ingredients: 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 4 pounds pork shoulder, cut into several large pieces, 3 tablespoons kosher salt, 1 onion, chopped, 1 clove garlic, crushed, 3 tablespoons lime juice, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 4 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees. Heat the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Season the pork shoulder with salt, then arrange the pork in the Dutch oven. Cook until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, lime juice, chili powder, oregano, and cumin. Pour in the chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and continue to simmer until pork is very tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Transfer the pork shoulder to a large baking sheet, reserving the cooking liquid. Drizzle with a small amount of the reserved cooking liquid and lightly season with salt. Bake the pork in the preheated oven until browned, about 30 minutes. Drizzle more of the cooking liquid on the meat every 10 minutes, and use two forks to shred the meat as it browns.

We serve the carnitas in small tortillas topped with homemade guacamole. Comment if you want that recipe. It's awesome!! Feliz Cinco de Mayo!


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