Carnitas Steamed Buns

002011023015032028030034042Adapted from: Tasty
Makes about 20 buns

I usually don’t dabble too much with ethnic cooking, mostly because a lot of the ingredients can be hard to get and, honestly, sometimes the recipes can be a bit daunting. Not sure if you’d consider the pork potstickers I made the other week would count as authentic Asian food, but anyway. I found this recipe on one of those Facebook videos where they cook with cool music in the background with everything sped up so a recipe that actually takes a good hour to make looks like it takes about 30 seconds. I just love those videos. I could watch them all day. I actually have done that, to be honest. Anyway! I felt like a Mexican grandmother waking up the morning after putting the pork shoulder in the slow cooker and smelling cumin, oregano and paprika all the way in my room. Such a pleasant thing to wake up to, 10/10 would recommend.

These are actually pretty simple, but they’re just so addictive. The dough puffs up so nicely and the pork has just the right amount of spice. And the fact that they’re such a cute little finger food in its own edible package is just so great. This recipe only asks you to steam the buns, but because I could only steam 5 at a time, I popped the cooked buns in the oven to keep them warm, and they actually turned out so much better after being baked for a while; the outsides got golden brown and a little bit crispy. All in all, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t make this for dinner tonight, unless you don’t like happiness. In that case, carry on.

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp. of chili powder
2 tsp of cumin
2 tsp of oregano
2 tsp of salt
1 tsp of pepper
3 lb of pork shoulder
1 medium onion, rough chopped
2 jalapeños, rough chopped
1/4 cup of lime juice
1/2 cup of orange juice
5 garlic cloves

Steamed Buns Ingredients:
1 Tbsp. of instant yeast
2 Tbsp. of sugar
1 cup of warm water
3 cups of flour
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of baking powder

For the slow cooker carnitas:
Combine the spices in a bowl and rub all over the pork shoulder. In your slow cooker, place onions and jalapeños. Place pork shoulder on top of the onions and jalapeños. Add the lime juice, orange juice and garlic cloves. Cover and cook low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.

When it’s done, pull apart with a fork and transfer to a separate bowl. Keep the juices in the slow cooker and use it for a dipping sauce later.

For the buns:
Dissolve instant yeast, sugar and warm water in a small bowl. Let it proof/activate for 5 minutes or until bubbly or foamy.

Sift together the dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking powder). Add the yeast mix to the dry ingredients, knead to form ball of dough. Place ball of dough into greased bowl, cover and proof dough for 1 hour or until double in size. Punch down dough, roll out and cut into golf ball sized pieces. Cover and rest the golf ball sized dough balls for 15 minutes.

When ready, prepare your steamer over high heat and preheat the oven to 300 F. Flatten each dough ball, add about a tablespoon of pulled carnitas to the center and pull the sides of the dough around the filling. Place seam side down on a piece of parchment paper. Steam for 15 minutes. When done with the first batch, put the cooked buns in the oven as you cook the others. If you’re somehow able to cook all the buns at once, and don’t need to bake them to keep them warm, you can still pop them in the oven after to make the outsides crispy, or just skip it.

Serve with the slow cooker juices as a dipping sauce. If the dipping sauce has too much fat, skim the fat.

Happy dining!!

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