New answers tagged pork
This is a bit of a guess - I've only made carnitas without it - but it probably help helps promote nice browning. The tiny bit of sweetness wouldn't hurt either. Of course, you'll be fine without it too; I didn't know it was a common ingredient and never noticed something was missing. Still could be good though!
Tough cuts become tender because collagen breaks down over time in the presence of heat and moisture, which usually takes several hours. When cooking that long the meat heats up to be the same as the oven temperature, so in this case internal meat temperature = oven temperature.
Leave it uncut, if you slice it now your slices will dry out more.
The meat will slice better if chilled first. Just put it in the fridge and slice when you want. I often find myself looking for a better way as I always like it better when fresh cooked and still warm, but that has always been an obstacle as you only eat a certain amount. Then the rest is left. Ticket is that meat will always slice easier when cold.
I'd suggest using this method for carnitas as seen on Serious Eats. Essentially you place the pork in a snug fitting dish, not-quite-cover it in oil, cover it with foil and bake it low and slow. The foil should protect the crust from burning, but it might make it a little soggy, in which case you could take the foil off towards the end of cooking to crisp it ...
You will want to slow roast the pork belly if you want the interior meat to render. Then either crank up the heat in the oven (to 450F or higher, for example), or put it under the broiler, to finish. That will give you a nice and tender inside, with a crispy outside.
It might be sacrilege, but how about microwaving briefly? The crust won't burn anymore, but the heat will help render the fat. Worth a shot. But probably not the best flavor. I'd probably experiment with pan frying some slices at different temperatures to see if you can get the meat and fat done before you over char the crust. Try slicing it vertically into ...
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