I was making a batch of our favorite pulled pork a while back, and I decided that, while I was going to all the trouble to slow cook a pork butt, why not turn half of it into something a little different? So, I cut the pork butt in half, made half a batch of the Southern pulled pork, and made the other half into salsa verde carnitas.
I really loved the intense salsa verde flavor of this dish. I am a big fan of tomatillos, and I might even dare to say that I prefer salsa verde over traditional tomato salsa, so this meal was right up my alley. Of course, you can use as many or as few condiments as you’d like to garnish your tacos. I actually thought the pork was so great on it’s own that it really didn’t need much more than a squeeze of lime and maybe a little avocado. I’ll never turn down avocado if it’s an option! Some day I would love to try this with a homemade salsa verde, but the bottled version worked well in this case. I’ve provided the original recipe below, which I halved. We still had plenty of leftovers, which we put away for a rainy day. It’s like gold in your freezer just waiting to be cashed in for a fabulous and fast weeknight dinner!
Salsa Verde Carnitas
Source: Adapted from Simply Recipes
3 1/2 pounds pork butt (pork shoulder)
2 cups salsa verde, bottled or canned
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 Tablespoon fresh chopped oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
12 to 16 corn tortillas, heated and softened
1 tomato, chopped
1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
Trim the excess fat from the roast. Put the meat in a large Dutch oven with the salsa verde, onion, stock, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and oregano. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until meat is very tender when pierced, about 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Remove meat from liquid in pot and put the meat into a roasting pan. With 2 forks, tear meat into large shreds. Roast meat for 15 to 20 minutes until slightly brown and crispy.
While the meat is roasting, skim and discard the fat from the liquid in the Dutch oven. Boil juices, stirring, until reduced to 2 1/2 cups, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Return the meat to the Dutch oven. Stir in chopped cilantro. Season with salt.
Serve with heated and softened corn tortillas (20 seconds each in the microwave spread out over a paper towel will heat and soften packaged tortillas sufficiently), diced tomato and avocado, grated Monterey jack cheese, sour cream, and lime wedges.