- 4 quarts water
- 1 head of garlic, halved crosswise, plus 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 shallot, quartered
- 5 thyme sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 pounds skin-on meaty pork belly
- 1 pound tomatillos, husked and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/4 cup minced pineapple
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- 2 serrano chiles, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 habanero, seeded and chopped
- 1 cup cilantro, plus more for serving
- Warm flour tortillas, chopped white onion, and Petty Cash Guacamole, for serving
How to make this recipe
In a pot, combine the water, garlic head, shallot, thyme, bay leaf, peppercorns, 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of sugar and stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Add the pork and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the broiler. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the tomatillos with the canola oil. Broil for 20 minutes, stirring, until the tomatillos are softened and nicely charred. Scrape the charred tomatillos into a blender. Add the pineapple, crushed garlic cloves, onion, serrano and habanero chiles, cilantro and the remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar; puree until smooth. Season the tomatillo salsa with salt.
Reduce the oven to 350°. Bring the pot with the pork to a boil over moderate heat. Cover and braise in the oven for 2 hours and 30 minutes, until the pork is very tender.
Transfer the pork to a work surface and cool slightly; discard the liquid. Thinly slice the pork and serve with the salsa, tortillas, chopped white onion, cilantro and guacamole.
The salsa verde can be refrigerated overnight.
Try these carnitas with a Southern California beer. Alcohol drives up the heat of the salsa, so choose a lower-alcohol beer, like Green Flash's Saison Diego or Ballast Point's Longfin Lager.