Chef Jenn Louis’s Carnitas for Nachos!

Chef Jenn Louis, Shun Chef and owner of Lincoln Restaurant & Sunshine Tavern in Portland, OR gave us her favorite Carnitas recipe in preparation for the big game! Looks terrific, don't you think?

Jenn Louis’s Carnitas, for Nachos at Sunshine Tavern

Serves 6

  • 2T cumin seed
  • 1T ground bay leaf
  • 5T light brown sugar
  • 2T cayenne
  • 2T salt
  • 4# pork shoulder cut into slabs about 6” by 1 ½”
  • 1 large yellow onion, julienne
  • 2 thick strips orange zest, approximately 1” by 3”
  • Water

In a small sauté pan, over medium heat, toast cumin seed until fragrant. Set aside to cool, then finely grind in a spice grinder.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl and dredge each piece of pork though spice mixture, coating evenly.

In a large pot, layer onions and pork. Fill the bowl with any remaining spices with water and pour over pork until pork is just covered with water.  Cook, on the stove, at a gentle simmer until pork is very tender.  If the pork is tender before the braising liquid reduces, remove the pork from the pot, turn the heat up to a rapid simmer and reduce liquid. When 3 cups of liquid remain in the pot, return pork to pot and continue cooking at a medium simmer until liquid is evaporated and pork caramelizes in rendered fat.

Total cooking time should take roughly 3-3 ½ hours.

Serve accompanied by warm corn tortillas (or chips for nachos), cilantro leaves, chopped onion, sliced avocado, crema and sliced jalapeno.

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