Monday, October 4, 2010

From Miranda's Kitchen: Carnitas Enchiladas

Carnitas Enchiladas
(serves 4)

2 lbs baby back pork ribs or country style pork ribs
1 lime (zest only)
1 orange (juice & zest)
3 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 red onion, finely diced
1 Tbs rice vinegar
salt to taste
Corn tortillas
2 cups canola oil
Cotija cheese, finely grated (about 4 cups) - this is a hard, slightly salty Central American cheese that can be found in most grocery store cheese sections.
2 jalapenos, minced
1 can spicy red enchilada sauce
1 can green enchilada sauce
accompaniments: hot sauce, sliced avocado, sour cream


For the filling -- rinse ribs under cold water and pat dry. Cut into 3-4 rib sections and place in a large, heavy duty pot. Try to use as wide a pot as possible and lay the ribs in a single layer. Cover the ribs with water (water should not come more than 1/4 inch above the ribs). Add half the lime and orange zest and one half of the orange juice. Add about 1 Tbs salt. Bring the water to a boil, then cover and reduce to simmer on low about 2-3 hours, until meat is falling off the bone. Check periodically to make sure the water does not dry up (though it should be reducing).

After a few hours, the water should have reduced down so that most of what remains is the grease and fat from the ribs (if it has not, continue to boil it down while you shred the meat). Remove the ribs from the pot and pull the meat off, using a fork to shred. Be sure to discard all the bones, cartilage, and membrane. Return the meat to the pot, bring heat up and fry in the remaining fat for about 5 minutes. Add the rest of the zest, the rest of the orange juice, the apple cider vinegar, and more salt to taste.

Remove the meat from the pan, leaving behind as much fat as possible. Add the onion dice to the fat and fry until soft and caramelized, about 7 minutes. Deglaze with the rice vinegar. Then stir the onions into the meat mixture. Set aside or refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the enchiladas.

For assembly.
Mince the jalapenos and finely grate the cotija cheese. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a saute pan with straight sides. Fill a wide, shallow bowl with 1/4 cup of each type of enchilada sauce. Set the pan(s) you wish to bake the enchiladas in at the ready.

Briefly fry each corn tortilla until it just begins to puff (a few seconds only). Lift the tortilla out of the oil with a slotted spatula and place it in the sauce mixture. Moisten each side of the tortilla with sauce and then transfer to the baking dish. Fill with meat, jalapenos, and cheese, and then roll. Repeat this process until the pan(s) are full.

Drizzle the remainder of the enchilada sauce over the rolled tortillas, paying careful attention to moisten the ends of each roll to prevent drying in the oven. Sprinkle a layer of grated cheese and any remaining jalapenos over the tops of the enchiladas. Also add a sprinkling of salt.

Bake in a 400 degree oven until the sauce is bubbling, about 20 minutes. Serve hot with sliced avocados, hot sauce, and sour cream.

Bon Appetit!

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