Friday, October 10, 2008


Both Journey and I are big fans of carnitas - a Southwest/Mexican style shredded pork. I've finally found a carnitas recipe which we really like! The result is nice, tender, crispy pork. And the best thing about this particular recipe is that it's really easy.

4-5 lbs deboned pork shoulder, trimmed of as much fat as possible
1 qt beef broth
2 cups chunky salsa (I use Herdez brand, medium heat; chunky Pace works too)
your choice of spices (I use chili powder, cayenne, garlic, onion, cumin, and chipotle if I have it)

1. Combine pork, broth, and salsa in a large sauce pan or stock pot. Add enough water to completely cover the pork. Add your spices (as with a lot of my cooking, I don't often measure my spices - I just kind of add whatever amount looks/smells right) and a couple pinches of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat; cover, reduce to low and let simmer for 3-4 hours or until it pulls apart easily.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. While oven is heating, move meat to a roasting pan with a large slotted spoon. Break the meat in to small pieces - it should shred apart real easily at this point. Drizzle a very little bit of the liquid over the meat (this will enhance the flavor and keep the pork from drying out too much). Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the meat is brown and crispy.

From here, you can do any number of things with the carnitas. Many people like to eat them in tortillas or use them to make chimichangas. You often see them served with chopped onion, cilantro, guacamole, sour cream, etc. Journey and I, we eat them just as is.

Any left overs keep really well just in the fridge. If you want to freeze them, add a little more of the left over liquid. Thaw over night in the fridge.

One of the things I like most about this recipe is the fact that you can tweak it as you like simply by changing the salsa and spices used. You can go from very mild to quite spicy if you want.

And if you haven't already figured it out, guess what we're having for dinner tonight?

No comments: