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Fat-Poached Carnitas with Cheese (Traditional; US), garnished with Phoning it in Pico de Gallo topped off with Zaatar and wrapped in delicious naan

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Contributed by sinker, Jeremy Bowers
# Fat-Poached Carnitas * 3 pounds of boneless pork shoulder or uncured picnic ham (see note for how to select). * 0.25 to 0.50 cups of liquified fat (oil, lard or duck fat is acceptable) * 10 to 15 garlic cloves (roasted preferred) * 1 lemon, sliced into thin circles and those are quartered * coarse salt * black pepper 1. Heat oven to 250 degrees. 2. Cube pork shoulder in roughly 3-inch chunks. 3. Salt and pepper the cubes aggressively. 4. Stuff cubes tightly (very tightly) into the smallest, deepest baking dish available. 5. Stuff garlic and lemon between the cubes. 6. Pour fat over cubes to just cover. 7. Bake in oven for 5 hours. 8. Remove dish from oven. 9. Cover a sheet pan with foil. 10. With slotted spoon, remove the pork to the sheet pan and spread out in a single layer. 11. Turn on broiler. 12. Broil pork in sheet pan until it is somewhat blackened and crispy, probably 4-6 minutes. YMMV because broilers are ridiculous. 13. Remove from oven and tease with fork. ## Notes * A nice thick fat cap on the top of the pork is preferable. * Ask your butcher to remove any bones. * Do not use cured meat.
Contributed by Brian Mount, sinker, Tim Murtaugh, Tim Murtaugh
Cheese (Traditional; US) ====================== A major flavor component of a traditional American taco, select a cheese that's firm and sharp. * Cheddar (shredded) * Jack/Pepper Jack (shredded) tags: vegetarian
Contributed by Brian Mount, sinker, Jake Spurlock, OpenShift guest
Phoning it in Pico de Gallo =========================== _Super Quick & Easy Pico_ * 1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered (make your kids do this part) * 3 tablespoons finely chopped white onion * Coarse salt * Squeeze of lime * As many finely chopped red (or green) jalapeños as you want (optional) Combine the tomatoes, cilantro and onion together in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and lime. Reserve some of this mixture for kids, and then add as much jalapeño as you like to the remaining mixture for the non wimps. tags: vegetarian, vegan
Contributed by Brian Mount, sinker, Jake Spurlock, Charlie Loyd
Zaatar ====== _A.k.a. za‘tar, za’atar, zattr, etc._ Zaatar is a thyme-based Middle Eastern seasoning that adapts well to tacos. It has a pleasantly dry, faintly sour/bitter flavor. It goes well on savory bases like squash and lamb, and combines with other sour seasonings like lemon juice and radish. There are many kinds of zaatar, some quite different; this recipe is representative, not definitive. * 4 units thyme * 2 units oregano * 2 units sesame seeds * 0–1 unit salt * 1 unit sumac (to be found at a Lebanese or Syrian market, or at a yuppie grocery; in a pinch, lemon zest can substitute) * Other herbs to taste: fennel pollen, marjoram, cumin, etc. * Optional: trace olive oil or lemon juice as a binder (but not if you plan to store it) Toast the sesame seeds. Grind all ingredients together using any method, stopping when the mixture is not too fine to pick up by pinching. May be added to meat during cooking, or sprinkled over a finshied taco. The latest theories have not ruled out the possibility of a zaatar mole. tags: vegetarian, vegan
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naan ===================== Naan bread can be purchased or made. It is easier to buy it at a store. Naan bread is a flatbread that tends to be fluffy and easy to tear apart.