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The Boston Globe

Food & dining

Recipe for carnitas with tomatillo salsa

Serves 4

The key to the pork, writes Lisa Fain on her “Homesick Texan” blog, “is that the meat has fat, so don’t trim it! If there’s not enough fat on the meat the recipe will turn out too dry.”

PORK

3pounds bone-in pork butt, fat intact
1cup orange juice
3cups water
2teaspoons salt

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1. In a large pot combine the pork, orange juice, water, and salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours or until the meat is very tender; do not touch the meat during cooking. (You can do this in a slow cooker, if you like, then transfer to a regular pot.)

2. Turn the heat to medium-high, and continue to cook for 45 minutes or until all but a bit of liquid has evaporated from the pan and the fat has rendered. Stir a few times, to keep the pork from sticking to the pan.

3. Set the oven at 450 degrees. Set the meat in a roasting pan with the remaining cooking juices. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the meat is crisp on top. Serve cubed or shredded (pork will be tender enough that just touching it will make it fall apart).

TOMATILLO SALSA

1pound tomatillos (12 to 16), husked and halved
2cloves garlic
1or 2 serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
¼medium onion
¼cup chopped fresh cilantro
¼teaspoon ground cumin
1tablespoon lard or canola oil
Salt, to taste

1. In a blender, combine the tomatillos, garlic, chiles, onion, cilantro, and cumin. Work until the mixture is smooth.

2. In a saucepan on medium-low heat, heat the lard or oil. Pour the tomatillo mixture into the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add salt, if you like. Serve hot or cold.

TO SERVE

16to 24 small (6-inch) white or yellow corn tortillas
1large white onion, finely chopped
½cup chopped fresh cilantro
2limes, cut into wedges

1. In a cast-iron skillet, warm the tortillas and stack 2 on each of 4 plates. Fill with as much meat as you like — this is why you have a double layer of tortillas. (There is enough meat to serve everyone 2 or 3 tacos, depending on how much you fill the tortillas.)

2. Top with onions, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. Add a dash of the tomatillo salsa. Erin Ailworth. Adapted from “Homesick Texan” blog, Stephen Pyles, Diana Kennedy

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