How to Make Mexican Carnitas Tacos, Part 2

Epicurious's Around the World in 80 Dishes takes you to Mexico, with a demonstration of a recipe for Slow-Cooked Carnitas Tacos with tomatillo salsa and avocado, prepared by Chef Iliana de la Vega of The Culinary Institute of America.

Released on 6/25/2009

Credits

Starring: Iliana de la Vega and Tanya Steel

Transcript

00:00
(upbeat instrumental music)
00:05
(classical music)
00:11
Alright, let me do the salsa.
00:13
Okay.
00:14
(mumbles) up here.
00:15
And this is as important
00:16
as the pork because this is what gives it the most flavor.
00:18
That's right.
00:19
That's right.
00:20
You know, salsas are very important
00:21
in Mexican cooking.
00:22
So what I have here are cooked tomatillos,
00:26
roasted tomatillos.
00:27
What you do is you have a skillet
00:28
and you place the raw tomatillos.
00:30
Just wash them very well first
00:32
in the skillet or in a comal
00:35
as we use in Mexico.
00:36
Low heat, keep turning once in a while
00:39
until they get, they change the color.
00:42
They are soft and they will have this black spots.
00:44
[Tanya] And that's okay?
00:45
[Chef] That's perfect.
00:46
That's a flavor.
00:47
So you, so and do you then peel off the skin?
00:49
No, no, no.
00:50
You don't, okay.
00:51
Just like that.
00:52
And over here we have some Serrano chilies.
00:54
We did the same thing.
00:55
We have onion,
00:56
the same way cooked.
00:57
And the garlic.
00:59
It's exactly the same way
01:00
but we keep it into the, in the husk.
01:03
In the little papery husk.
01:04
[Tanya] Oh, you actually roasted in the--
01:05
In the paper.
01:06
The garlic itself, the clove.
01:07
Mm-hmm, and then you peel it.
01:09
Otherwise, it will get burned
01:11
and will taste bitter.
01:12
Oh.
01:13
So this way, we protect it
01:14
in the skin.
01:15
Yeah.
01:15
And then we just peel it off.
01:17
And you can try it.
01:17
And it's amazing.
01:19
It's kind of a almost sweet, beautiful flavor
01:22
of the garlic instead of a bitter
01:24
you know, when you burn garlic,
01:25
it taste bitter.
01:25
Yes.
01:26
You don't want that.
01:27
So that why we do it.
01:28
So it's almost the way it would taste
01:29
if you roast it in the oven.
01:30
Mm-Hmm.
01:31
It's a garlic.
01:32
And do you put any olive oil?
01:32
Nothing, nothing.
01:33
Nothing, you just roast it in a--
01:34
It's dry roasted.
01:35
Okay.
01:36
Mm-hmm.
01:37
So I will put all this
01:38
into the blender now.
01:41
So chilies, as much as you want.
01:42
It can be spicy,
01:43
it can be mild.
01:44
That's up to you.
01:45
Once you add the chilies,
01:46
remember you either have more tomatillos
01:48
or something because it will be spicy.
01:51
So we have garlic, onion,
01:53
and the tomatillos.
01:54
Everything roasted, we'll add salt to this
01:58
and blend it.
02:00
No water or anything?
02:01
Nope.
02:01
This contain a lot of water.
02:03
You know, the tomatillos on it's own,
02:04
they have a lot of water.
02:05
It is very important here
02:07
to use if you can,
02:11
a blender with speeds.
02:12
Or even a small immersion blender
02:14
also works.
02:15
Yes.
02:16
So do it in a speeds,
02:17
not too fast.
02:18
(blender runs)
02:20
Because we don't want to over blend it.
02:22
[Tanya] Oh, you don't want it to,
02:23
otherwise it gets too liquidy?
02:24
[Chef] Too liquidy and you don't have any texture.
02:27
(blender runs)
02:31
(flipping switch on and off)
02:32
[Tanya] So it's just blended until
02:33
it's chunky.
02:34
[Chef] Chunky.
02:35
Okay.
02:36
Mm-Hmm.
02:37
Chunky add delicious.
02:38
This is the time
02:38
where you add some cilantro.
02:40
Mm, yum.
02:42
My favorite herb which is used all the time
02:44
in Mexican cooking, right?
02:45
That's right.
02:46
Even it's not a Mexican herb,
02:47
we just adopt it.
02:49
Is it Italian?
02:50
No, it is from South Asia.
02:51
Is it really?
02:52
Yes.
02:53
Oh.
02:54
But it's even many people in Mexico
02:55
don't know it is not Mexican.
02:56
Oh, that's so interesting.
02:57
We believe it is Mexican,
02:58
but it is not.
03:00
(blender runs)
03:01
[Tanya] It's an honorary Mexican herb.
03:03
[Chef] Right, you got it.
03:04
(blender mixing)
03:10
Leave it a little bit chunky
03:11
which really nice.
03:13
There we go.
03:15
Alright.
03:16
Oh, that's so easy to make
03:17
I didn't realize it's that easy to make a salsa
03:18
like that.
03:19
You want to taste the salsa
03:20
and tell me if it needs a little bit more salt?
03:22
Hopefully it's not too spicy for you.
03:23
I don't know.
03:25
Mm, oh my gosh.
03:26
Is it good?
03:27
A little bit more salt or it's fine?
03:27
No, I don't feel like it's (mumbles).
03:28
Okay, perfect.
03:30
The cilantro's so strong and delicious in that.
03:32
Yeah, 'cause we added it at the last minute.
03:34
Kind of fresh.
03:34
Oh.
03:35
So you just have very nice texture.
03:38
[Tanya] Gorgeous.
03:39
[Chef] Looking pretty.
03:42
So we have our salsa ready.
03:55
(upbeat instrumental music)