I suppose, but I am trying to avoid the traditional method where the pork is cooked submerged in a large volume of fat (plus it would take me the better part of a year for me to collect/store that much bacon fat).
It may simply be that the taste/texture I am looking for is just not possible without the traditional cooking method, so I am just grasping for straws here.
1.) Used a bit more salt on the pork, and let it sit for a couple/few hours, and toweled it dry.
2.) Once done, I moved the chunks of pork into my stand mixer with the paddle (which I often use to shred chicken - so why not?).
3.) Discarded the bay leaves, and threw everything left in the baking dish (mostly rendered pork fat, garlic, and some juices) into the blender, along with a pinch more kosher salt and about a tablespoon or two of agave syrup (sugar helps with browning - right?… and thought this would replace things like coke or sweetened condensed milk other recipes call for).
4.) Turned mixer on low to start shredding the pork and slowly added the blender contents to coat. Once it was shredded to my liking, I popped it into a pretty hot 12 inch CI skillet, stirring occasionally until the outside of the various clumps of shredded pork were browned and crispy (about 5-7 minutes) and removed to a paper towel lined bowl to soak up any excess fat/liquid.
It has been a while, but I actually think these turned out as well (or maybe better) than the local taqueria down the mountain. Also thinking about what else I could add to that blender to make things even better (maybe some cumin, chiles, citrus zest, etc.).