* 3 lbs.lard (no substitute)
* 3 1/2 lbs. boneless pork butt or shoulder, trimmed and cut into 3-inch cubes
* A few other spices/etc: cumin, Mexican oregano, garlic, coriander, cayenne pepper, chili peppers, etc
* 1 small orange, sliced
* 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1. Place the lard in a heavy, deep pot, over medium-low heat. Lightly rub salt and other spices into the meat. When the lard has melted, place the spiced meat, orange slices, and the cilantro into the pot. The melted lard must cover the meat; if it does not, add more.
2. Cook over medium-low heat, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. After about 30 minutes, the lard will begin to boil. Boil gently. As the moisture gradually cooks away the temperature of the lard will rise, allowing the meat to brown. If the meat has not browned at the end of the cooking time, remove the orange slices and continue to cook. As the meat browns, remove it and drain on paper towels.
3. Place the carnitas on a preheated platter or serving dish. Serve with warmed tortillas and garnishes.
* Serves 6
* May be prepared in advance and reheated in a 350 F degrees oven until heated through (10 to 15 minutes).
* Carnitas are always cooked in lard with fresh orange slices. The orange supplies moisture that lowers the temperature of the lard while the interior of the meat cooks. Once this moisture cooks away, the temperature of the lard rises, and the meat browns on the outside. The carnitas, when done, will have a dry, crispy exterior, with a moist, succulent interior. There is no substitute for the lard; oil will not work for this recipe.