I wanted to make something Mexican for Cinco de Mayo and Carnitas came to mind. I found this incredible recipe at Epicurious.com. It’s super easy and delicious and will likely become part of my repertoire.
As it turned out, we went to Pee Wee’s instead (that’s where our friend Percy wanted to go) so I made the carnitas the following day.
I made the recipe according to the instructions, though I used bone-in short ribs. The bones they had were very small in any case, I just cut them out, added them to the meat and removed them before serving. I found the recipe too salty, next time I’ll start with 1 tsp of salt and add more later if needed. I did use regular salt rather than the “sea salt” it asked for. You can also use chicken broth instead of water, if so you may want to use even less salt. You can also substitute good quality tequila or possibly another liquor for the brandy, and you can use pork shoulder or another (somewhat fatty) cut instead of the short ribs.
Trim large pieces of fat from the short ribs and set aside. Put the short ribs, reserved fat, water, orange juice, garlic cloves, salt and orange peel in a wide pot or skillet. Mix and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered until the meat is soft, about 1 3/4 hour. Make sure the ribs remain at least partially submerged in the liquid, if not, add more water.
Uncover the pot, increase the heat and bring the mixture to a rapid boil. Boil until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the brandy. Boil off the remaining liquid, stirring frequently. When the liquid has evaporated, remove from heat. Cool down slightly, remove the fat and bones (if any) and serve.