Thursday, December 30, 2010

Torta de carnitas

French baguette à l'ancienne...

...meets Mexican carnitas. The world will never be the same.

Before I really get started, I'd like to say one thing. Carnitas has ONLY three ingredients. Pork, Salt, Water. The water doesn't really count since it evaporates during cooking, leaving really only two ingredients. Any more - even a little hint of pepper, citrus, garlic - is overkill. The other secret is to use very low heat to coax out all that porky goodness.

So, as everyone knows by now with torta madness sweeping the land, a torta is a Mexican sandwich. There are a lot of variations beyond the traditional bolillo bread.

This is my take on what is fast becoming as ubiquitous as tacos. Instead of a bolillo, I used a French baguette à l'ancienne. This is a complex, slow fermented wonder that transforms the lowly torta into something worthy of passing up a meal at the French Laundry. The meat: carnitas, slow braised then delicately fried in its own rendered fat. The salsa: cilantro, pineapple, serrano pepper, green onion. The pièce de resistance: fresh slices of avocado.

Just FYI, I've never seen a baguette à l'ancien outside of France - but they can indeed be made here with American flour, yeast and a good formula. And a fair amount of time.

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