Who doesn’t like tacos? I mean really? No…I’m asking.
So I needed some Whole 30 compliant recipes for lunches and dinners and such back in January and was looking for things that I liked enough for stretching through several meals. In the original Whole30 book, I found a pork carnitas recipe. It looked good enough so I gave it a shot.
The first time out, it was pretty good, but needed work. The flavor was not all there – it needed some umph. So I tried it again a week later, added more spices and crisping up the pulled pork in an iron skillet as I heated it up for each meal. I change it up each time – served it with eggs and avocado, served it in lettuce cups (Whole 30, remember), topped a burger patty with it, etc. Post Whole 30, I tried it again and this time, added in orange and additional spices. Now I have it perfected. It also makes for killed tacos with all the fixings.
I present to you – the still Whole 30 compliant – pulled pork carnitas. Serve them with eggs and avocado or in lettuce wraps, or atop zoodles or a compliant meal. Or as part of your perfect taco bar.
Yields 2 to 4 servings
Adapted from The Whole 30 Cookbook
1 1/2 Tbls salt, Kosher
1 tsp pepper, black, ground
2 Pounds pork, shoulder, boneless cut into 4-inch cubes
2 Tbls butter, clarified
1/2 Medium onion, white roughly chopped
6 Cloves garlic, fresh minced
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon, ground
1/2 tsp oregano, dried
1/2 tsp cumin, ground
1/4 tsp coriander, ground
1/2 Large orange, navel zested in a strip and juiced
1/4 Cup onion, green sliced 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 Small lime juiced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix 1 tablespoon salt and all the pepper and season the pork.
In a Dutch Oven over medium heat, melt the butter, swirling to coat the bottom of the pan. When the butter is hot, add the pork (don’t overcrowd) and brown all sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove the pork from the pot and set aside.
In the same pot, reduce the heat to medium-low, add the onion and cook until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until aromatic, about a minute. Add, orange juice, enough water to almost cover the pork, and the spices. Increase the heat, return the pork to the pot, and bring to a boil.
Cover the pot with a lid. Transfer to the oven and bake for 2 1/2 hours, turning the meat after each hour, The fork should be fork tender when done.
Transfer the pork to a bowl and shred with a fork or two, discarding any excess fat.
Incorporate the cooking liquid from the pot, then add the green onions and lime juice. Season with the remaining salt.
To serve, crisp up in a hot iron skillet until browned and crispy.
Serve over crisp greens and salsa and guacamole.
If using a slow cooker – complete through bringing to a boil. Instead of placing in the oven, move mixture to a slow cooker and cook on low heat for 8 to 10 hours.