Carnitas embody the flavor of roasted pork down to its essence. According to legend the dish originated in the Michoacan area; it is now found throughout the republic, often under the rubric ‘Carnitas Michoacanas’. Regardless, the preparation method varies little from region to region. The partitioned animal, including its viscera, is first boiled in water perfumed with onion and garlic, then braised in its own fat, confit style. Sometimes orange and herbs such as oregano are added. Finally, the meats are browned to add crispness and flavor. These proceedings take place in a giant copper tub, which distributes the heat evenly. Traditionally done outdoors over a wood fire, nowadays exquisite carnitas are prepared inside on gas.
Carnitas Azul (El Capote)
This humble, hard to spot locale, located just outside the Metro Insurgentes circle, is star chef Enrique Olvera’s favorite – he sends chefs from all over the world here to sample taquero Rubén Martinez´succulent offerings. El Capote is the official name, but it is known popularly as Azul. A guarded secret until now, word is out!
Avenida Chapultepec Nte., between Genova and Amberes (exit the Insurgentes glorieta at “Chapultepec Nte. Pte.”, at the top of the steps turn left, it is about 10 meters down, opens on two sides, into an alley)
Photos courtesy Juan de Díos