In Tacolicious, Sarah Deseran, co-owner of the popular San Francisco restaurant, shows us her approach to tacos with a California twist.
If heaven exists, it’s likely an all-you-can-eat buffet of pork fried in pork fat. (Remember, you’re already dead, so there’s no risk of heart attack.)
Yes, you could make carnitas using vegetable oil instead of lard. But as they say, life is short. At the restaurant, we render the lard ourselves— something you can do if you can find extra-fatty pork. But for ready-to go lard, check out your local butcher shop or Mexican market. Although any salsa will do, our chef Mike Garcia loves carnitas with chipotle tomatillo salsa. He puts it simply: “It’s one of my favorite flavor combos ever.” For extra porkiness, sprinkle the top with crumbled bits of chicharrónes (fried pork rinds).
- Put the pork in a nonreactive Dutch oven or other large, heavy pot with a lid. Add the onion, garlic, sugar, salt, oregano, bay leaf, orange juice, and lemon juice and toss to coat the meat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours.
- Bring the pork to room temperature. Heat the lard in a small pan over medium heat until it melts, then pour it over the pork. Cover the pot, place over medium-low heat, and cook the pork for about 3 hours, until the pork begins to pull apart easily when tested with a fork.
- Remove from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a bowl. Discard the cooking liquid and clean the pot. Using a couple of forks, shred the pork a bit but not completely, removing any large chunks of fat.
- Return the pot to the stove top over high heat and add the oil. At the minute the oil begins to smoke, using tongs or a spoon and working in batches to avoid crowding, carefully add some of the meat to the hot oil and cook, turning as needed, for about 4 minutes, until crisp on all sides. (If some onions are still attached, don’t worry about it.)
- Serve with the tortillas, onion, cilantro, salsa, and lime.
Reprinted with permission from Tacolicious copyright © 2014 by Sara Deseran with Joe Hargrave, Antelmo Faria and Mike Barrow. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.