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Smoked Carnitas

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Smoked Carnitas

6 pounds pork butt 1 large onion, diced 4 tablespoons ground New Mexican chile 1 tablespoon cumin seed, roasted and ground 2 teaspoons granulated garlic 1 teaspoon dry oregano 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon black pepper to cover water

Smoke the pork butt with your favorite wood at a low temperature for about three hours. You might even consider boning it and cutting it in two pieces. The idea here is to get the smoke flavor and not to cook it till it is tender. Once you think you have plenty of smoke on the butt, transfer it to a large pot. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a hard simmer and cook, stirring occasionally for about 2 hours. When stirring, stir hard, trying to break the pork up. When the water is gone, but there is still plenty of moisture, the pork is done.

This is excellent meat for use in tacos. To make tacos, heat two small corn tortillas on a hot plate. Fill hot tortilla with some of the carnitas. Add a big spoonful of freshly made Pico De Gallo and your favorite salsa or hot sauce. The tacos should be eaten on a double tortilla. The inside tortilla soaks up all the juices, while the outside tortilla stays dry so you can handle it without making a mess. The smoked carnitas would also be great as a filling for taquitos.

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