Carnitas, gift of the pork

You may or may not have figured out by now that pork is really one of my favorite things to eat. Sorry vegetarian readers, this is all about the pig. I will think on a vegetarian version of this though.

Carnitas are crispy, flavorful bites of pork that have been cooked for hours and then are finally sauteed in their own rendered fat. I cook mine with loads of fresh squeezed orange juice – about three cups, orange zest several diced onions (See Gluten Free Girl’s post on onion dicing if you need a lesson), and a boat load of garlic. Eventually there is some brandy thrown in there too. I started out using this recipe from Bon Appetit, but since have morphed it into my own.



For this batch I made a red cabbage slaw. I found that in Mexico, or at least in the state of Jalisco, that lettuce is not used much, cabbage is used frequently. My slaw has shaved cabbage, shredded carrots, thinly sliced onions, loads of lime juice, salt and then some fresh chopped cilantro. Oh, a little tip I have discovered. Once you are done cooking the carnitas, they may not be really crispy, esp if you follow the recipe link above which says to add some water when reheating, then you have steamed carnitas. The whole point is to be crispy and I would have to add oil to do this and didn’t want more oil or fat in the dish as it is lush enough (plus all that stirring would make the chunks fall apart), so I put the carnitas on a baking pan and stick them under the broiler until they are golden brown. Then throw them on a warm corn tortilla. Add your slaw, top it off with a spoonful of sourcream and prepare to melt.

Most tortilla brands are GF, Mission has a separate corn line, but I like the brand I get from Grand Rapids as they are locally made and have only 3 ingredients, no preservatives. Carnitas freeze well too, just thaw and brown under the broiler. I haven’t yet mastered the making of my own tortillas, but that is coming soon. I do have a press.

Crispy, crunchy, tangy, creamy and porky.

i’m out

5 thoughts on “Carnitas, gift of the pork

  1. GF Mommy,
    The best way I have found is to put the cooked pork on a sheet pan and put it under the broiler for a few minutes – this works so great. Otherwise, I would have to add more oil and split the carnitas into two frying pans and fry them up. If the meat is a more than a couple of inches deep in the pot, they don’t crisp up very well. Broiling them (after they are all finished cooking) is amazing – try it!
    How different is the Chevy’s recipe?
    How’s the newborn?

  2. Slacker Mom,
    These are great in fall and winter and the leftovers freeze really well in case you get a craving in summer and want to use your garden produce for an excuse to make r salsa to go with it – as if I ever need an excuse to make some salsa!

  3. Pingback: Fresh Ginger » Menu of the Week: Avocados

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