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Carnitas

November 19, 2013Danita

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It’s been a while since I posted a “Mexican” recipe.

I’ve always loved “Mexican” food, even though what we have here in the U.S. is not always as “authentic” as restaurants may claim.  Out here in Texas, we just claim it as our own and call it “Tex-Mex”.  

I did a little research about Carnitas and most things I read claimed Carnitas are “authentic” Mexican fare.  Typically, they are made from a pork roast that is slow roasted for several hours, then the heat is increased and meat braised (and sometimes fried) until the outside “crisps”.  They take some time to cook but can be done in the crock pot then braised in the oven.  A couple of times I needed to finish them up quickly so after the slow roasting I used a hot cast iron skillet to “fry” a portion of the meat.  I used a very hot skillet with no oil and it put a very nice “crisp” on the outside of the meat.  

This recipe makes a lot.  I usually use about a four pound roast and our family of five will have it for at least two meals.  When I prepared it for this post I was making it for fifteen so I made two.  We wrapped it in small flour tortillas but it can be used for tamales, burritos, nachos or just served with a side of rice and beans.  

Here’s the Recipe:

(printable version below)

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1 (4-5 lb.) pork roast (excess fat removed)

1 cup salsa verde (green salsa found in the “International” isle at the store)

1 large onion, chopped – medium to small pieces

1 tablespoon seasoned salt

2 teaspoons pepper

4 cloves minced garlic (2 tsp of jarred mince garlic)

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Rub garlic into roast then sprinkle with salt and pepper

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Place in a roasting pan and pour salsa over 

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Cover with onions

**I know, that is a TON of onions!  Don’t worry, they cook down so much you can’t even tell they are there.  Believe me, our family DOES NOT like onions but we love this***

Loosely cover with foil (or lid if your roasted has one)

Bake at 300 degrees for about 4 1/2 hrs (or in crock pot on low all day or even overnight)

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Remove from pan and cool slightly.  

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Shred pork with a fork (it should practically fall apart)

de fatting cup

Strain pan juices and drain off excess fat.

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**I love my de-fatting cup for this (OXO Good Grips 4-Cup Fat Separator).  Any broth or liquid can be placed in the cup.  Fat will rise to the top.  Because the spout is attached at the bottom, you just pour out the de-fatted liquid and leave the fat behind***

Return shredded pork to roasting pan, mixing with de-fatted pan juices and strained solids

Return to oven and cook uncovered about 30 minutes

Turn pork and cook another 20 minutes or until crispy

***The crisping can be done on top of the stove in a hot skillet with no oil added (cast iron skillets work best for this)***

If you don’t want to take the time for this step the meat is still excellent

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Leftovers are wonderful for quesadillas or nachos!  We typically serve it with either pinto beans or black beans and “Authentic” Mexican Rice 

***Time saving tip:

 Day or evening before… 

Rub roast with garlic, salt and pepper place in frig.  Chop onions and store tightly covered in frig.  When ready to use just put it all together in the roaster.

It takes some time but Carnitas are WELL worth the wait!

Carnitas
Serves 8
Traditional Mexican Pork Roast slow cooked and braised to perfection
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
5 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 (4-5 lb.) pork roast (excess fat removed)
  2. 1 cup salsa verde (green salsa found in the "International" isle at the store)
  3. 1 large onion, chopped - medium to small pieces
  4. 1 tablespoon seasoned salt
  5. 2 teaspoons pepper
  6. 4 cloves minced garlic (2 tsp of jarred mince garlic)
Instructions
  1. Rub garlic into roast then sprinkle with salt and pepper
  2. Place in a roasting pan and pour salsa over
  3. Cover with onions
  4. Loosely cover with foil (or lid if your roasted has one)
  5. Bake at 300 degrees for about 4 1/2 hrs (or in crock pot on low all day or even overnight)
  6. Remove from pan and cool slightly.
  7. Shred pork with a fork (it should practically fall apart)
  8. *Strain pan juices and drain off excess fat.
  9. Return shredded pork to roasting pan, mixing with de-fatted pan juices and stained solids
  10. Return to oven and cook uncovered about 30 minutes
  11. Turn pork and cook another 20 minutes or until crispy
Notes
  1. I know, that is a TON of onions! Don't worry, they cook down so much you can't even tell they are there. Believe me, our family DOES NOT like onions but we love this
  2. *I love my de-fatting cup for this . Any broth or liquid can be placed in the cup. Fat will rise to the top. Because the spout is attached at the bottom, you just pour out the de-fatted liquid and leave the fat behind
  3. The crisping can be done on top of the stove in a hot skillet with no oil added (cast iron skillets work best for this)
  4. If you don't want to take the time for this step the meat is still excellent
***Time saving tip
  1. Day or evening before...
  2. Rub roast with garlic, salt and pepper place in frig. Chop onions and store tightly covered in frig. When ready to use just put it all together in the roaster.
O Taste and See https://otasteandseeblog.com/

 

 

 

5 Comments

  • DesignedByBH

    November 20, 2013 at 2:06 AM

    I absolutely LOVE carnitas–I’m so excited about this recipe…I don’t really care if it’s Tex-Mex or Mexican (I think I actually tend to like Tex-Mex better)–pinning! 🙂

  • Sarah

    November 19, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    Gosh I love carnitas- must be the Texan in me! I have got to get a defatting cup- I hate skimming all the goop off the top by hand!

    1. Danita

      November 19, 2013 at 5:19 PM

      I love them too! But also, yuck on skimming the fat off anything. Thanks for coming by Sarah..hope you’re having a good week.

  • Christine

    November 19, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    Pinned! This looks delicious, I am actually mexican and my carnitas always turn out sooo dry. I will definitely be trying this recipe and see how my husband likes it! =]

    1. Danita

      November 19, 2013 at 5:20 PM

      You’ll have to let me know how it goes. I’m always making something “Mexican” but never really too sure how “authentic” it is. Thanks Christine for stopping by.

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