YIELD: 12 portions (2 sopapillas)
For the carnitas:
4 lbs. boneless pork butt
3 Tbsps. salt
1 Tbsp. black pepper
juice of 1 lime
juice of 1 orange
1 cup water
For the sopapillas:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsps. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
4 to 6 Tbsps. lard or shortening
1 ¼ cups warm milk
vegetable oil, as needed
2 green peppers, julienned and sautéed
2 red onions, julienned and sautéed
1 1/2 avocados, pureed and salted to taste
¾ cup sour cream
3 oz. Cotija cheese
6 oz. cheddar cheese, as needed
2 diced tomatoes
1. For the carnitas: Combine all carnitas ingredients in covered roasting pan and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 2 to 2 ½ hours.
2. For the sopapillas: In large bowl, blend together all dry sopapilla ingredients. Cut in shortening until small crumbles are formed. Add the milk and mix by hand until the dough forms a mass. Turn the dough out onto a well floured board and begin to knead, folding over itself until dough is no longer sticky. More flour may be added during this process if dough remains sticky. Cover dough with a towel or plastic wrap and let it rest for about 10 to 15 minutes. Roll out dough to 1/8” to ¼” and cut into 3” squares.
3. Fry the squares in 400°F oil, flipping when golden brown. Dough will puff up like a balloon.
4. Pull the pork.
5. Top squares with desired amounts of pulled pork (carnitas), peppers and onions, avocado, sour cream, cheeses and diced tomatoes.
Photo and Recipe: Justin Mead, production chef, San Diego State University