Carnitas

Carnitas

Carnitas is rated 4.4 out of 5 by 7.
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Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 165 minutes
Servings: 8
The popular "little meats" of Mexican cooking are traditionally made by slowly simmering large chunks of well-seasoned, sometimes marinated pork shoulder in hot lard, then coarsely chopping the meat and eating it wrapped in warm tortillas. In the following version, the fat content of the finished dish is dramatically diminished by simmering the meat in flavorful citrus juices. The results taste marvelously authentic.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 boneless pork shoulder roast, 3 to 4 lb.
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups Mexican lager-style beer
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 large orange
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 Tbs. dried oregano

For serving:

  • Warm corn or flour tortillas
  • Lime wedges
  • Chopped yellow onion
  • Hot or mild salsa
  • Chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

In a small bowl, combine the salt and pepper. Season the pork roast generously with the mixture.

In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the pork and cook, turning frequently until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a platter and set aside.

Pour off all but a thin layer of fat in the pan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté just until they begin to soften, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the beer and deglaze the pan, stirring and scraping up the browned bits from the pan bottom with a wooden spoon.

Oven method: Preheat an oven to 350°F. Transfer the pork to a large Dutch oven and pour in the beer mixture. Add the orange and lime zests and juices and the oregano. Cover and cook until the pork is very tender, about 2 1/2 hours.

Slow-cooker method: Transfer the pork to a slow cooker and pour in the beer mixture. Add the orange and lime zests and juices and the oregano. Cover and cook according to the manufacturer's instructions until the pork is very tender, about 5 hours on high or 10 hours on low.

Transfer the pork to a carving board and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Using a large, shallow spoon or a ladle, skim as much fat as possible from the surface of the cooking liquid. Using a large, sharp knife and a fork, coarsely cut and shred the pork into small bite-size pieces.

Arrange the meat on a warmed platter or individual plates, moisten it lightly with the cooking juices, and serve immediately with the tortillas, lime wedges, chopped onion, salsa and cilantro. Serves 6 to 8.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Slow Cooking, by Melanie Barnard, Charles Pierce & Denis Kelly (Oxmoor House, 2008).

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Our go-to carnita recipe This is our favorite carnita recipe! My husband requests at least once a month. Great with homemade guacamole and salsa!
Date published: 2017-02-05
Rated 1 out of 5 by from very plain I read the reviews thinking it would not be plain and it was very plain
Date published: 2016-11-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Company Worthy What can I say other than this was the BEST recipe I've tasted for Carnitas! And so simple!!! This is great for a family dinner through the week (using slow cooker method) or for dinner parties! This will go in to our recipe box as a keeper, for sure! We made using boneless pork chops cut in to cubes instead of the butt/shoulder and it was still tender and easy to shred.
Date published: 2015-06-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The toast of Malaga Spain I've started to use this as my go to recipe for large casual dinner parties, I have yet to have a single scrape of carnitas left over. It's perfect for brown and thrown in the pan with marinade put on the grill and head for the pool. Next week we take over Madrid with a little bit of Mexican.
Date published: 2015-01-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perfect "party" food This was soooo good. I accompanied it with the usual tortillas accompaniment: homemade guacamole with lots of lime, grated parmesan, homemade salsa. I also mixed mayonnaise with some chili in abode sauce instead of sour cream. It was delicious. I am re-making it tonight for one of my teenagers and his friends.
Date published: 2014-10-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So Easy and Delicious! My husband made this and absolutely rocked it! He did make a few changes due to a bigger cut of meat and personal preferences. He used a 5lb cut and made the following additions: Used 2 cups of beer (Porch Rocker-Lemon Infused), used 5 cloves of garlic, smoked ground pepper, 1 tbs of chipotle tabasco, about 8 shakes of liquid smoke and about 2 tbs of sun dried tomato paste. He used the oven method and cooked the carnitas at 350 for 3.5 hours. It fell off the bone. We served these with homemade salsa, guacamole, cheese and sour cream. They were fantastic. This makes a lot of carnitas. You will have leftovers and I imagine it would freeze nicely. Great meal, easy prep, and very versatile. Recommended.
Date published: 2013-07-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Terrific...the best I usually make pork carnitas in a dutch oven..This recipe was out of this world easy..My husband who is my critic loves it and he uses it all for company dinners. Guests always ask for the recipe.
Date published: 2013-06-22
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