Chinese-Style Pork Carnitas
Time is the only hard part of this recipe: it simply takes a while to cook. However, we have pressure cooked it, which can turn that first hour and half into something more like a half hour; you still need to simmer it afterwards to reduce the liquid in the pot. Likewise, you could likely accomplish the initial simmer in a Crockpot, but you'd want to reduce the cooking liquid afterwards.
Serve it over rice, or use it as a taco or quesadilla filling; your kids will love it because it's perfectly sweet and salty, with an intoxicating hint of that Chinese ginger-scallion seasoning.
Active time: 15 minutes
Total time: 3 1/2 hours
Yield: Serves 8
4 pounds country-style pork ribs (with or without bones)
1/2 cup soy sauce or tamari
1/2 cup sherry or rice wine
1/3 cup sugar
6 1-inch pieces of ginger, peeled and smashed with the side of a heavy knife
6 scallions, white and green parts both, cut into 1-inch lengths
6 cups water
- Combine all the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil, covered, over high heat. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook, covered, for 1 1/2 hours.
- Uncover and cook for another 1 1/2 hours, or until the meat is fully tender and falling off the bones, and there is barely any liquid left in the pot.
- Cool briefly, then pull the meat off the bones with tongs or two forks, discarding any fat or ginger hunks or other unappetizing lumps of anything you might come across.
- Return the meat to the cooking liquid in the pot, bring it back to a simmer, and simmer, stirring occasionally at first and then frequently as the liquid evaporates (you have to be super-careful that it doesn't burn at this point), until the meat is glazed and frying in its own fat; if you want the meat juicier and saucier, then skip this last step.
- Drain off any residual fat and serve.