INGREDIENTS: Pork shoulder/butt, red cabbage, fennel, orange, lemon, spices (cumin, coriander, pasilla chili powder, Mexican oregano, paprika, bay leaf), onion, garlic, veggie stock, hoisin or oyster sauce, shoyu (soy sauce), mirin, agave honey, miso, red wine vinegar (and other vinegars), steamed Chinese bun or corn tortilla.
Braised Carnitas: get a dutch oven, get some pork shoulder/butt, dice up some onions and garlic. Season the meat with salt and paper, put some oil in the dutch oven, throw in the onions and garlic (need to hear a sizzle) and brown the meat. Add the spices into the pot with some type of liquid. Mix Grand Marnier, the zest and juice of an orange and lemon, stock (veggie broth), couple cups of water (leaving a little bit of meat showing) and a couple bay leaves. Raise to a boil then turn down to low heat and let it ride for 2-3 hours. Replenish the pot with liquid here and there. Try beer, some wine, or stick to stock and water. It's done when you press the meat and it shreds into nice pieces. Drain the liquid (but keep it for later) and let the meat cool a little bit. When you can stand the heat, shred the meat and lay it flat on a cookie sheet. Add some of the liquid from the dutch oven and drizzle some agave honey over the meat and put in under the broiler until golden and crispy. Don't overdo it, it should be a mix of soft pieces and little cracklins. Should take about 1-2 minutes under a high broil.
BBQ Hoisin Sauce:
3-4 tablespoons of Hoisin or Oyster Sauce
1-2 tablespoons of Shoyu (soy sauce)
3 teaspoons of Mirin (Japanese rice wine, little sweet)
Drizzle of Agave honey
Juice of half a lemon
Mix all the ingredients and taste. The BBQ sauce should have the consistency of well, BBQ sauce. Plus it should taste like you're eating in Chinatown.
Pickled Red Cabbage: Shred a red cabbage (julienne), salt it, make a vinegar mixture. I do rice wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, regular vinegar and equal parts water. Put the red cabbage in the vinegar and let it soak overnight. Drain the purple water and make another batch of the liquid to stay in.
Take out your fennel, or baby fennel. Cut off the top dill looking part (you can save use that for a veggie stock), we're just using the bulb. With the bulb, finely slice into rings. Put the fennel in a bowl and add a teaspoon of miso, a couple dashes of shoyu, splash of red wine vinegar. Mix together, shouldn't be overdressed.
Bite. chew, flavor explosion, temporary euphoria, sip of a cold beer, ahhhhh!!