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crispy shredded pork

heatherbursch | shemadeitshemight | shredded crispy pork

Shredded meat might be what sums up the last two months entirely when it comes to what I’ve been eating and making, perhaps getting by with at times.

I’ve tried a few recipes and different cuts of meat over the years. I’d like to say it doesn’t matter much but it really, really does. NO ONE wants to eat dry shredded meat, am I right? I’ve definitely found that a cut of meat from store to store (farm to farm I suppose) isn’t equal, but it can be hard to keep track of what is what and where it came from. Add to that all the different ways to cook meat and you might need a spreadsheet to track your results.

Watching leftovers waste in my fridge uneaten just makes me feel bad. For my peace of mind I’ve started sticking to these two decisions for myself:

– I spend more $ to get the better cut and quality of meat (oh the relief!)
– Unless absolutely necessary, I personally choose to skip the crockpot when cooking meat. (And no I am not a crockpot hater.)

I sustained my two rounds of Whole30 with this recipe. I would stack it on greens with guacamole and salsa or throw it in with my eggs and hash. We all love it with corn tortillas, salsa or pico, and avocado slices squeezed with lime juice and salt.  If you want a feast, throw in some of these beans and this rice and knock yourself out!

making carnitas

This recipe can easily be made ahead. When ready to rewarm just add a couple tablespoons of water and stir in a skillet until heated through and moist.

heatherbursch | shemadeitshemight | carnitas, corn tortilla, avocado, salsa

Here are the details!

Crispy Shredded Pork
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Makes: 8 cups
adapted from Bon Appetit
Ingredients
  • 4 lbs boneless country-style pork ribs
  • 
2½ cups of water
  • 
1 teaspoon of grated orange peel
  • 
1 cup of fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic peeled and left whole
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • ¼ cup of brandy (optional!)
Instructions
  1. Cut each boneless rib strip into 3 pieces, about 2 inches each.
  2. Remove large chunks of fat but leave thin strips attached to meat. Put all meat and removed fat pieces into a large pot or skillet with high sides.
  3. Add all the ingredients except for brandy, and let it come to a boil.
  4. Turn it down to a simmer, cover and let pork cook for about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Check occasionally and stir.
  5. At the hour point, check to make sure the meat is still partially covered by liquid, add ¼ cup more water as needed, keeping the water simmering.
  6. When the meat has gone the duration of time, remove the lid, turn up the heat, and boil the liquid down by half. This will take 10 minutes or so.
  7. When the meat has been reduced by half, add the brandy if you are using and continue to cook meat while liquid evaporates. If you are skipping the brandy just continue cooking the liquid down, the meat will start to brown and crisp. Toss and turn the chunks, scraping up the browned bits as you can. Control the heat as needed.
  8. When the liquid has almost disappeared and meat has crispy edges, take it off the heat.
  9. With two forks pull apart and shred the remaining chunks of meat.
  10. Discard any remaining pieces of fat.
  11. Taste the meat and add salt as needed.
  12. If you are making ahead, let it cool before refrigerating. When ready to reheat, add a tablespoon or two of water and stir until heated through.
Makes about 8 cups, about 16 servings.

The nutrition facts below are a little high for the meat I usually buy. Country style ribs come in all shapes and sizes when it comes to fat content depending on which butcher is cutting them. I look for ones with less fat visually. You can make this leaner by buying boneless pork shoulder or shoulder blade, trimming off fat and not incorporating it into the recipe, or even trying pork tenderloin which is more lean. But taking all fat away (or using a solo tenderloin) will make this recipe a bit more dry. Try a combination or trim as you desire, then adjust your nutrition facts to match.

Nutritional Information for Crispy Shredded Pork

Serving size for 1/2 cup shredded pork.

Enjoy!

~Heather

 

 

 

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