There are four dishes I use to judge a Mexican restaurant:
Fortunately, in this part of the US, decent carnitas is not hard to find, asada is another story.
After marinating (how long?), how do you cook it?
There must be hundreds, maybe thousands of carnitas recipes. One of the best I had was a homemade version - the pork roast was soaked in a citrus based juice with garlic, spices and peppers for 3-4 days. Then the thing was deep fried!!! Whole. Wow awesome!
I miss good restaurant carnitas. No such thing in the PNW. (I grew up in so cal (Fullerton))
"After marinating (how long?), how do you cook it?"
It's really not marinating, it's simmering in a broth of some sort for 3-4 hours.
Then you take the meat out of the broth and toss it in an oven @ 450 for about 20 minutes to crisp it up a bit.
I save some of the broth and use it later.
As you know, the best Mexican restaurants make tortillas on site. My favorite only makes corn tortillas. A foot note on the menu states; "Our flour torillas are crappy store bought tortillas"
I make both corn and flour tortillas on occasion. Corn is alway better, but that's only my opinion.
Give me the details. Maybe I'll add a lime to the broth. Cilantro and lime is a match.
I'm off to the store so maybe next time I can try your version.
I'll try this recipe today only because my wife and daughter don't care for the guajillo pepper based marinade I use now.
" This recipe serves 2.
* 2 16oz cans of chicken broth
* 4 pounds of boneless pork shoulder
* 1 tbs. chopped coriander (cilantro)
* 1 tbs chopped cummin (comino)
* 2 bay leaves
* 1 onion, quartered "
Sound bland to me. Also, I'd think 4 pounds of pork would satisfy more than 2.
I don't have a recipe - but this lady used oranges and limes and spices like a little oregano and cumin and lots of chopped garlic and serrano chiles....then soaked it in the fridge for days.
Then you need a big pot of deep fry oil.
The key is making the inside juicy and tender w/ flavor while having the crispy carmelized outside.
This is the basic formula I use w/ different additives depending on my mood.
6 lbs pork butt, cut into 2 inch cubes
1 1/2 quarts water
1 quart orange juice
3 (12 ounce) bottles Dos XX beer
1/4 cup achiote powder or paprika
4 ancho chilies, stems removed
6 bay leaves
3 tablespoons garlic, chopped
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 lb white onions, chopped
There is one thing I REALLY MISS about living in So Cal it's the good mexican food. I lived in San Diego for years and ate somewhere in Old Town a couple of times a week. There are about 5 places here, none of them do carnitas, my favorite. Good thing... I do love sea food.