Yikes that sounds complicated. It’s not. Last November, I used a gift card to my favorite store, Amazon to buy a temperature controller for my crock pot. And it’s incredible. In fact, I like it so much, I bought an Anova immersion circulator to use for larger projects, but it’s still in production and I won’t have it til October sometime. Regardless, this is officially my favorite way to cook pork carnitas. I’ve done the Homesick Texan version, and they’re good, but just too dramatic in terms of mess and fuss for me. You will need a temperature controller, or a way to keep a water bath at a steady 155 degrees F for an extended period of time.
Here is how it goes.
*Get some pork shoulder
*Chop it up, mix with desired seasonings (a little lime juice, cumin, salt, maybe chili and/or garlic powder would be nice here)
*Vacuum seal it in quantities small enough to fit in your water bath vessel. For me, this was 2.5lb packages
*Store, cook, or freeze (I make up and freeze several packs of this when I do a pork shoulder, then all I have to do is pull one out of the freezer and plunk it in a water bath the day before I want to eat.)
*Cook at 155F for 22 hours. This is easy enough to toss in after dinner and pull out before dinner.
*Remove from hot water and chill in an ice water bath. – At this point you can stick it in the fridge for several days, or open up the package and proceed onto the next step.
*Open package, and pick through the pork. I pull out all the big solid hunks of fat, gelatinous goo, and other less-desirable bits. Those go to the dogs. They appreciate them.
*Toss the hunks of pork in a nonstick or cast iron skillet and cook it over medium-low heat, allowing to crisp (fat will render out to help with the browning process), then turn, allow to crisp more, etc. Repeat until desired level of crispiness is achieved. Serve.
IMO, these are best wrapped in small flour tortillas, topped with pico de gallo, avocado, and a little crema. But I am not eating dairy, or flour this month, and my avocados were not ripe yet. So I made lettuce tacos out of baby romaine, pork carnitas, pico, and a garlic-lime aioli, and topped with a little hot sauce.