03 May, 2011


                 Carnitas means "little meats" in spanish.  Pork carnitas is simmered pork used in different Mexican dishes.  They are usually made using heavily marbled, boston butt or a picnic cut of pork. This is the same cut of meat used in pulled pork for BBQ.    It's braised in liquid (the authentic method is using lard for liquid-eewww!) and seasonings for a good while and used in tacos, burritos, etc...  
This particular recipe has a very mellow tasting, juicy meat.  A perfect accompaniment to the stronger corn tortilla, cilantro, red onion, and salsa flavors.
It's terrific because you get the richness and tenderness like you used lard but YOU DEFINITELY DIDN"T.  We will use evaporated milk and coca cola instead.
Boston butt piece of pork
onion roughly chopped
a can evaporated milk
a can of coke
1/4 c. salt
2 cinnamon sticks
head of garlic, top cut off
water to cover

corn tortillas
red onion
crumbled queso (i don't use cheese)
lime wedges

Cut your boston butt into large chunks and remove outer layer of fat.  Put your butt :) into a large pot.  Add your evaporated milk, coke, salt, cinnamon sticks, garlic, and water to cover the roast.  Cover and simmer 3-4 hours or until it's very tender.
Once it's tender you can remove to cool.  Put your meat on a cutting board and using two forks shred the meat.  
For tacos I use a large electric griddle.  On one side I put some of the carnitas meat so it can get brown and crispy.  On the other side I heat the corn tortillas.  To assemble: Heat a corn tortilla.  Lay down some meat, chopped red onion, cilantro, and salsa (recipe below).
You can add crumbled queso or other Mexican cheese if you like.  I like mine w/o cheese. 

 smokey salsa:

  • 3 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 3 fresh jalapenos, roughly chopped (less or more depending on how HOT you like it)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 T. fresh lime juice
  • 2 T. chopped canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce 
  • 1 1/2 t. ground cumin
  • 1 t. sea salt

Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse to the consistency you like.

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