It took 86 pounds of meat (and 26 pounds of lard) to crack the deceptively simple code.
Why This Recipe Works
Inspired by the carnitas we ate at Carnitas Uruapan in Chicago, we were after soft, ultrarich pork meat with lightly crisped edges. We wanted a laser-focus on pork flavor, and that meant cooking the pork in lard with no extra seasonings or spices. Pork butt proved to be an ideal choice for two reasons: It packs meaty pork flavor, and it is an easy cut to find at supermarkets. Cooking the meat in a Dutch oven in a 300-degree oven helped it cook evenly. Another bonus was that the corners of pork that poked above the surface of the fat browned well and developed beautiful, lightly crisped edges. Chopping the meat into bite-size pieces made it ideal for packing into warmed corn tortillas.