From: Chef Tim Spinner, Cantina Feliz in Ft. Washington, PA and La Calaca Feliz, Philadelphia. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.
3 to 5 lb. pork butt (pork shoulder)
1 qt. vegetable oil
5 cloves peeled garlic
½ Spanish onion, chopped
1 cup evaporated milk
6 oz. beer
½ cup orange juice
½ cup cola soft drink
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
8 whole allspice
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
10 black peppercorns
2 Tbsp. white onion, rough chop
8 tomatillos, peeled and washed
1 clove fresh garlic
½ bunch fresh cilantro
to taste, salt
as needed, corn or flour tortillas
¼ Spanish onion, julienned
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 limes, fresh squeezed
½ bunch cilantro, chopped
to taste, salt
Preheat oven to 300°F. Cut pork butt in 6 equal pieces. Place all ingredients together in an ovenproof baking dish that is deep enough to fit all ingredients. Make sure the pork butt is 3⁄4 of the way covered with all the ingredients. Cover with lid or aluminum foil. Cook for 3 hours.
Remove pork from oven after 3 hours. Check to make sure it is tender (it should easily pull apart with a pair of tongs). Let pork cool in the braising liquid for an hour. Remove from braising liquid and pull pork apart, using your hands or a tong and fork.
For salsa verde: Combine white onion, tomatillo, jalapeno and garlic in a blender and puree until very smooth. Add cilantro and puree until very smooth and vibrant green. Refrigerate for up to 2 days.
To assemble tacos: In a skillet over medium heat, heat 1 lb. of cooked pork, onions and garlic in 1 Tbsp. olive oil for 2 to 3 minutes. Squeeze the juice of 2 limes and fold in chopped cilantro. Season with salt.
Meanwhile, heat tortillas until warm on a skillet or in a microwave. Place cooked pork (carnitas) onto tortilla. Top with salsa verde and serve.
Photograph: Courtesy of Cantina Feliz and La Calaca Feliz