Mezcal Matching Recipe: Classic Mexican Carnitas
As we reach the alfresco season peak, this recipe has been created by Love Drinks in collaboration with its award-winning, ultra-premium Zignum mezcal brand and food writer Jonathan Hatchman.
With both pork and the Zignum Reposado matching and complimenting pineapple perfectly, this recipe utilises this three-way flavour combo to create some classic Mexican carnitas.
The heavily charred pineapple salsa works delightfully well with both the Zignum reposado and the slow-cooked pork carnitas, with the unctuous meat and just a dash of condensed milk also helping to tame the whack of alcohol and allowing the delicate base notes to really shine through.
Makes – enough for 4 people as a main, or 6 as a starter
- 2 kg pork shoulder, cut into approx. 2-inch pieces
- 60g lard, or a generous splash of neutral cooking oil
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp dried oregano, preferably Mexican oregano
- 1 orange, cut into quarters
- 1.5 tbsp condensed milk
- Sea salt
For the pineapple salsa
- 1 pineapple
- 1 red onion
- 1 green chilli
- 1 small bunch coriander, approx. 30g
- 1 lime, juice only
- Sea salt
To make the carnitas
Heat the lard in a large, heavy-based saucepan or Dutch oven, and sear the pork until lightly browned all over, working in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Once seared, remove from the pan and set aside until later.
Add the onion to the pan and cook over medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring often, until translucent.
Season with a generous pinch of salt and add the garlic cloves, orange wedges, bay leaves, oregano and condensed milk and increase the heat. Cook for a further minute before returning the pork to the pan.
Add 750ml cold water to the pan and bring to a boil, skimming any impurities that rise to the surface.
Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours, or until the pork is tender enough to shred with a fork and the liquid has evaporated.
Discard the orange wedges and bay leaves, then transfer the pork and any leftover fat to a roasting tray.
Preheat the oven to 220C/Fan 200/ Gas 7 and cook for 20-30 minutes until browned.
To make the pineapple salsa
Peel the pineapple and cut into 1cm thick rings.
Heat a skillet or heavy-based pan until screaming hot and add the pineapple rings in batches. Cook over high heat, turning occasionally until heavily charred, then remove from the pan and allow to cool.
Remove the core from each ring and dice into approx. 5-8mm pieces. Add to a bowl.
Finely chop the red onion, green chilli, coriander and add to the bowl with the pineapple.
Season with a generous pinch of salt and squeeze over the lime juice. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, chilli or lime if necessary.
About ZIGNUM® Mezcal
Hailing from and proudly showcasing the vibrant and colourful Oaxaca region, Zignum only use the finest Espadín plants in production and the most sustainable methods.
Zignum is one of the most awarded mezcals in the world and noted for being exceptionally smooth and easy to drink. Zignum distillery’s unique Método Verde® Sustainability Programs are aimed at having the lowest possible environmental impact. ZIGNUM distillery is animal cruelty-free; operates its own wastewater treatment facility; uses solar energy for heating; is certified “Clean Industry” by Mexico’s Ministry for Environmental Protection, and Kosher, among other quality designations.
ZIGNUM® Reposado Mezcal
ZIGNUM® Reposado is aged in American white oak barrels for a minimum of 8 months. Balanced and refined, it hits the sweet spot between delicate & intense and sweet & roasted, due the aging. Flavours of honey, vanilla and caramel balanced by bright hints of orange. Serve neat or add to a spirit-forward cocktail.
100% Agave Espadín
About Love Drinks
Love Drinks is an independent import, distribution and marketing company for premium quality spirits, liqueurs and craft beers. Their portfolio represents quality, craft-distilled and family-owned brands that have a rich provenance, heritage and history.
Founded by Kirsty Loveday BEM in 2007, Love Drinks represent Abelha Organic Cachaça, The Bitter Truth Cocktail Range of Bitters and Liqueurs, Conker, Einstök Icelandic Craft Beers, Goslings Bermuda Rums, Hernö Gins, Pedrino Spritz, White Heron Drinks and the El Recuerdo and ZIGNUM® Mezcal Brands.
Love Drinks holds the silver accreditation for Investors in People and recently launched Love Well – a pioneering initiative to help the health and wellbeing of people working in the hospitality industry. The company was named Drinks Business Drinks Distributor of the Year in 2019.
For more information visit www.lovedrinks.com or follow on Facebook – @lovedrinksltd Instagram – @love_drinks_ltd or Twitter – @Love_Drinks.
To speak to someone, call 0207 501 9630