Cinco de Mayo menu

Being a born and bred Texan, I love Mexican food. I think I love Mexican food more than any other type of ethnic food. I am literally salivating in anticipation of tomorrow's menu. About a year ago I read and researched and tested and figured out a recipe for authentic and delicious carnitas. Here's what Wikipedia has to say about carnitas. I have found that 4 lbs of meat will feed my hungry family twice, plus pork butt is a fairly inexpensive cut of meat (I pay anywhere from $1-1.39/lb) so it also makes for a fairly inexpensive dinner. What makes carnitas so delicious is you braise them until all the fat renders out of the meat, and then you let the meat fry in its own fat. Then you shred it and spread it out on a baking pan, and pop it in the oven until it gets crispy and carmelized and oh-so-delicious. They really are most delicious served with the basic accompaniments--white onion, cilantro and a little queso fresco and lime. No need for cheddar cheese or sour cream or any of those other "taco" toppings.

Our menu for tomorrow night is:
Pork carnitas served with pan-toasted corn tortillas, queso fresco, white onion, cilantro, and lime
Salsa verde (tomatillo salsa)
Juanita's tortilla chips and guacamole
orange juice and limeade (because citrus juice is fabulous with Mexican food--give it a try!)

And the recipe:
Pork Carnitas
4 lbs pork butt (pork shoulder or picnic roast), preferably boneless, cut into 2 inch chunks (if your roast has bones, just cut around them and pull them out when you can during cooking)
1 orange, washed well
3-4 cups of water
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp dry oregano leaves
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp salt

Put the meat into a large lidded pot. Squeeze the juice from the orange into the pot and toss the spent orange halves in as well. Add spices and water and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low/medium low and cook until all the water has evaporated and fat has rendered from the meat, 4-5 hours. Meat should be tender and able to be shredded easily. Remove meat from pot and shred. Spread on a large baking sheet and cook in a 375 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until meat started to turn brown on the edges and is sizzling. Serve with corn tortillas and desired toppings or use as a filling for enchiladas or burritos.

Enjoy!