Death by Carnitas

This recipe GRACIOUSLY stolen from David Lebovitz.

The Goods
7-8 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 5-inch chunks, trimmed of excess fat
salt
3 Tbsp. neutral vegetable oil
2 cinnamon sticks
2 1/2 tsp SCD chile powder
3 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
5 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly-sliced

The Gettin’
1. Rub the pieces of pork shoulder all over with salt. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.
2. Heat the oil in a roasting pan set on the stovetop. Cook the pieces of pork shoulder in a single layer until very well-browned, turning them as little as possible so they get nice and dark before flipping them around. (If your cooking vessel is too small to cook them in a single-layer, cook them in two or more batches.)
3. Once all the pork is browned, remove them from the pot and blot away any excess fat with a paper towel, then pour in about a cup of water, scraping the bottom of the pan with a flat-edged utensil to release all the tasty brown bits.
4. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
5. Add the pork back to the pan and add enough water so the pork pieces are 2/3 submerged in liquid. Add the cinnamon stick and stir in the chile powders, bay leaves, cumin and garlic.
6. Braise in the oven uncovered for 3½ hours, turning the pork a few times during cooking, until much of the liquid is evaporated and the pork is falling apart. Remove the pan from the oven and lift the pork pieces out of the liquid and set them on a platter.
7. Once the pork pieces are cool enough to handle, shred them into bite-sized pieces, about 2-inches (7 cm), discarding any obvious big chunks of fat if you wish.
8. Return the pork pieces back to the roasting pan and cook in the oven, turning occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and the pork is crispy and caramelized. It will depend on how much liquid the pork gave off, and how crackly you want them.
9. Immediately upon tasting, you may die. Please take precautions for such a response.

The Take
So even when you accidentally smoke up the house, spill grease on the floor, and suffer through mind-blowing smells you wish you could tweet (it is a bad thing in the torture sense) it is all worth it. 

Total Time:  5 hours 30 minutes
Prep –  1 hour
Cook–  4 hours 30 minutes

Yield: 10 servings

Level: Intermediate

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