Chef Jose Mendin
Pubbelly Noodle Bar
Pubbelly’s menu is a fusion of Latin American and Asian flavors, but chef Jose Mendin leans in a Mexican direction with this dish. The carnitas start with boneless pork shoulder that’s soaked in a spiced citrus marinade, then oven-braised until tender. The cooked pork is shredded and sauteed until crisp, then piled into corn tortillas. Housemade green apple slaw provides a refreshing contrast to the carnitas.
4½ cups orange juice, divided
3 tbsp. lime juice
2 tbsp. onion powder
2 tbsp. ancho chili powder
2 tbsp. ground cumin
2 tbsp. dried oregano leaves
5 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
3 tbsp. kosher salt, divided
1 tbsp. garlic powder
4 lb. boneless pork shoulder
12 oz. sweetened condensed milk
5 bay leaves
1 orange, quartered
½ cup vegetable oil
24 white corn tortillas (4- or 6-in. size)
1 cup Mexican crema
1 cup crumbled queso fresco
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 limes, cut into wedges
Green apple slaw
4 cups shredded green cabbage
3 cups shredded red cabbage
2 carrots, julienned
1 unpeeled Granny Smith apple, julienned
1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
½ white onion, cut into thin half-moons
¼ cup fresh lime juice
2 tbsp. agave nectar
2 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
1. Prepare marinade: in blender combine ½ cup orange juice, lime juice, onion powder, ancho powder, cumin, oregano, garlic, 2 tablespoons salt and garlic powder; process until well-blended. Place the pork in a large bowl or 2-gallon plastic sealable bag; add marinade. Cover or close and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 16 hours or overnight.
2. Let pork stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 F.
3. Place pork and marinade in large braising pot. Add remaining 4 cups orange juice, condensed milk, 1 tablespoon salt and bay leaves. Tuck in the orange quarters and pour oil over pork. If needed, add water to almost cover pork. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.
4. Place pork in oven; tightly cover and bake about 3 hours or until meat is very tender, occasionally turning pork. Let stand at room temperature, uncovered, until cool enough to handle, about 1 hour.
5. Transfer pork to carving board. Discard cooking liquid. Using fingers or two forks, shred pork.
6. Prepare green apple slaw: In large bowl, combine all ingredients; set aside.
7. Preheat oven to 200 F. Heat a large griddle over high heat. In batches, place tortillas on griddle and heat, turning once, until hot. Stack tortillas on a baking sheet and keep warm in oven until ready to serve.
8. Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add half the shredded pork and heat 2 minutes, until underside is crisp and browned. Turn and crisp other side for about 1 minute more. Transfer to a bowl; cover with foil. Repeat with remaining pork.
9. To serve, place pork carnitas in tortillas and top with slaw, a drizzle of crema and a sprinkle of queso fresco and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.
Photo courtesy of National Pork Board