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Coca-Cola Carnitas

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
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Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds fatty pork shoulder or pork butt, cut into 2-inch cubes

1 tablespoon garlic powder 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pork fat or neutral oil such as canola or vegetable oil, for frying (see Cook's Note)

1 cup Coca-Cola 

3 sprigs fresh tarragon

2 bay leaves 

2 sprigs fresh thyme 

Corn tortillas, for serving

Suggested toppings: salsa verde, diced onions, cilantro leaves, sliced radishes, lime wedges and sliced avocado 

Suggested toppings: salsa verde, diced onions, cilantro leaves, sliced radishes, lime wedges and sliced avocado

Directions

  1. Sprinkle the pork on all sides with the garlic powder and plenty of salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the pork fat over medium-high heat in a small, heavy Dutch oven or braiser (see Cook's Note). Add the pork and fry on all sides until well browned, about 20 minutes. Add the Coca-Cola and 1/2 cup water (there should be just enough liquid to cover the sides of the meat). Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Add the tarragon, bay leaves and thyme. Cover and simmer until the pork is tender, about 1 1/2 hours; the Coca-Cola will caramelize and the liquid will evaporate completely.
  3. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and shred. Serve with warm corn tortillas (charred over a flame) and toppings on the side: salsa verde, diced onions, cilantro, radishes, lime wedges and avocado.

Cook’s Note

You can get pork fat from your local butcher, which adds extra flavor when frying. If unavailable, substitute a neutral oil such as canola or vegetable oil. We use a 1 1/2-quart braiser to cook the pork and recommend you use something similar; the pork should crowd the pan a little so that it stays moist.

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