When Sunset reader Rachelle Maciels' mother came to the United States from Portugal's Azores islands, she brought her own mother's recipe for torresmos, pork marinated with vinegar and fiery Scotch bonnet chiles. Both women fried the meat in lard. Rachelle's mom ditched the chiles, and now Rachelle, who lives in Huntington Beach, CA, bakes the meat carnitas-style instead of frying it. Any leftover meat is excellent in sandwich rolls the next day.
Sunset MAY 2011
1. Make pork: Cut into 1 1/2-in. chunks, trimming large pieces of fat (leave some, or pork will be dry). Put meat in a 1-gal. resealable plastic bag; set in a deep bowl. Mix remaining pork ingredients and 2 cups water. Pour into bag; seal. Chill overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 350°. Pour meat and marinade into a strainer set over a bowl. Spread meat in a roasting pan and add 1 cup marinade (discard the rest). Seal pan with foil. Bake 1 hour. Uncover (it will be juicy). Bake 1 hour more, turning meat twice. Spoon out all but about 1/2 cup liquid. Bake, turning meat twice, until browned and crisp at edges, 30 more minutes. Meanwhile, start potatoes.
3. Make potatoes: Simmer them in a large covered saucepan with 1 tsp. salt and water to cover until tender, 15 minutes. Drain, return to pan, and cook over low heat until dry, stirring gently a couple of times, 1 to 2 minutes. Combine remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and other potato ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in potatoes.
4. Arrange meat and potatoes in a shallow serving bowl. Scatter more cilantro on top. Season with salt to taste.
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