160 Years After Mexico’s Victory Over Napoleon III, Lard, Carnitas and Salsa Carry the Day (Deliciously)
Cinco de Mayo, which marks the 160th anniversary of Napoleon III’s surprise defeat in Mexico, has become a celebrated foodie holiday – and this year, Coast Packing Company, the leading supplier of animal fat shortenings in the Western U.S., is offering a new recipe for flautas that will get your taste buds cheering.
“Cinco de Mayo is an ideal showcase for how lard brings out authentic flavors in Mexican cuisine,” said Coast Corporate Chef Greg Hozinsky. “We’re committed to minimally processed food, which is also why lard is such a mainstay of so many Mexican dishes, from freshly made tamales to long-simmering carnitas. Home-based cooks are always wise to avoid industrially-produced partially hydrogenated fats in favor of animal fat shortenings, which have the benefit of being consistently delicious and promoting health.”
This Cinco de Mayo, Coast has compiled a special edition of its “Taste the Difference” #FatMap, pinpointing restaurants and eateries around the country, spots where locals can taste for themselves just how lard brings out the best in burritos, tacos and refried beans.
CHEF GREG’S FLAUTAS RECIPE
(makes 12 flautas)
- 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into large 2-3 inch chunks
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon coarsely cracked black pepper
- 1 teaspoon oregano, dry
- ¾ cup Coca-Cola (optional)
- 1 medium orange, sliced
- 2 ½ – 3 cups high quality pork lard
- ½ white onion, rough chopped
- 4 cloves of fresh garlic, peeled
- In a large heavy-duty pot or Dutch oven, melt pork lard. While melting, season pork well on all sides with salt, pepper and oregano.
- When lard is melted add onion, garlic, orange slices and seasoned pork. If you’re using Coca-Cola, add this now also. Pork should be completely submerged. Return to heat until it reaches a simmer, skim any foam that comes to the top, reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 3- 3/12 hours or until pork is fork-tender and easily comes apart.
- When pork is cooked, carefully remove from Dutch oven with tongs or a slotted spoon. Gently break apart into smaller pieces using tongs or two forks, but be careful not to over shred the pork; set aside to cool.
- Reserve the cooking liquid; as it cools, the fat will come to the top and juice will stay on the bottom. When this happens, use a ladle to carefully remove about 6 ounces of juice from the pot, and fold it into the cooked and shredded pork.
For the Flautas
- 12 each flour tortillas (check out our homemade tortilla recipe too!)
- 2 tablespoons AP flour
- 2-3 tablespoons cool water
- Pork lard for deep frying
- In a small bowl, mix together flour and water; the consistency should be that of thick pancake batter. This will act as a glue to hold our flautas together and not open up when cooking.
- Place approximately 1 ½- 2 ounces of meat in each flour tortilla. The carnitas should be placed in a line across the tortilla, leaving about ½ inch of room on each side. Use a pastry brush and spread a small amount of flour/water mix along about 1/3 of the edge on each tortilla; this should be on the same side the filling is on.
- Tightly roll each flauta, ending on the side the flour/water mixture has been spread. This will help hold it shut; you can also use a small wooden toothpick to make it extra secure.
- Using either a deep fryer or a heavy bottom pot, such as cast iron, heat pork lard for frying to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. There should be enough fat to completely cover the flauta. (If you’re using a cast iron pan, make sure it is large and do not fill it more than half way.) Gently place each flauta in the hot lard one at a time, seam side down, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes or until golden brown.
- Serve flautas over finely shredded lettuce and top with your favorite condiments. I recommend salsa, crema, cotija cheese and guacamole.
Roasted Tomato Salsa
- 2 lbs. ripe tomato
- 3 cloves garlic
- ½ white onion
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 serrano chili
- Juice of one small lime
- ¼ cup cilantro, fresh
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil
- In a roasting pan, place all ingredients except cilantro and lime. Add and oil and salt, toss together.
- Place into a broiler and cook for 10-12 minutes or until the tomatoes are blackened.
- Keep an eye on the onions and garlic; if the garlic is getting color, remove from pan so it doesn’t burn.
- When tomatoes and onions have taken on good color, add all ingredients, including cilantro and lime juice, to blender, making sure to get all the juices from the pan. Blend quickly for about 10 seconds until blended but still has texture. Set aside in the refrigerator to cool.
Serve hot and enjoy the festivities!