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Carnitas


snowangel
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You guys are awful!!! Saw this and just had to have carnitas for lunch. Pork currently cooking, off to make some tortillas to go with. I am NOT reading the larb thread today!

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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Fifi, so what's in this Goya brand Mojo Criollo? The nearest place, now that I live in the 'burbs to get stuff like this seems like a million miles away.

My former Hispanic neighbors used to marinade their butts in something. Like lime, lemon, OJ, cumin, a little oil, some cumin, perhaps something else.

Do I really need to drive to buy this stuff or can I just wing it with what I know my former neighbors used to use?

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Rats... I don't have a bottle of it to check out but, as I recall, you are on the right track. What I don't remember is the order of the ingredients. But it is basically a mix of citrus (lime, lemon, orange) with cumin, garlic and black pepper. It is pretty tart. I don't think you could go wrong with your own mix. The cumin, garlic, black pepper thing seems to be a fairly common "Latin" mix with maybe some coriander thrown in.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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With winter coming fast, I was trying to think of some good and hearty dishes to steam up my kitchen windows and fill our home with savory aromas.

And then up pops this thread. :rolleyes:

Want to add here that carnitas are a great preparation for adding whatever suits the mood. I don't usually add additional sugar because we don't like our meat dishes to be particularly sweet, but I do know folks that add a bit. And as I think has been pointed out in this thread, also Coke or 7Up or other soda, and milk. Whatever floats your boat, or in this case, browns your pork.

Oh, and PS, NVNV, thanks for the compliments. Makes my day.

:biggrin:

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I was thinking of you this morning Jaymes! In a hurry to get to the office, but hungry so I shredded up some leftover carnitas, dumped some salsa on top, some extra cumin, heated quickly in micro. Warmed a tortilla, shoved the meat mix in with some cilantro, crema and jalapeno out of the fridge. Best breakfast in a long time! Unfortunately, none left for the SO's lunch. :unsure: Oops.

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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Oh my gosh! My carnitas turned out just perfectly! Thank you Jaymes and Fifi for all your great suggestions. My dh thought they were out of this world! I did put in some brown sugar while mine were in the crockpot...next time, I won't use anything sweet in them. They were delicious, but, like Jaymes, I'm not wild about sweet meat. And doing them in the crockpot, I can see that if you are working you can still make them and have them close to the finished crispy product if you do it in two stages. I had a little over 2 lb butt and cooked it in Jayme's mixture of tequila, lime juice, oj....I forgot the chicken broth, but will remember it next time... and I also used a can of the green salsa casera and rest of her ingredeients, cooked on high for about 8 hours I think. Then I just let it cool and put the entire pot into the fridge with the lid on it till I was ready to finish them off. Two days later, I put it all into a pyrex baking dish and put in the oven. I started off at 250 deg, but it seemed like it was going to take forever if I left it there and my dh goes to bed early on Sundays, so I cranked it up to about 325 and just watched it...took probably about 3-4 hours for it to all cook down, but it was worth it! I can't wait to make it again! What a fun dish to experiment with (and next time I'm using more jalapeno too....I was very gentle with it as my dh is not a fan of really spicy food, but it DOES need a little spice :rolleyes: Another carnitas devotee!!! Now.....onto LARB, hehehe :wink:

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picked up a round of chihuahua (cheese!) and will make some fab quesadillas de carnitas for dinner this evening.

can't wait -- if this fat black cat ever gets off my lap I can go cook!!!!

edited to add:

Cheeto finally got down...and I got my quesadilla....mmmmmm!

Edited by msphoebe (log)
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picked up a round of chihuahua (cheese!) and will make some fab quesadillas de carnitas for dinner this evening. 

can't wait -- if this fat black cat ever gets off my lap I can go cook!!!!

edited to add:

Cheeto finally got down...and I got my quesadilla....mmmmmm!

Darn it! Now why didn't I think of a quesadilla for the leftovers? Oh well...next time! Great idea! Thanks :smile:

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picked up a round of chihuahua (cheese!) and will make some fab quesadillas de carnitas for dinner this evening.  

can't wait -- if this fat black cat ever gets off my lap I can go cook!!!!

edited to add:

Cheeto finally got down...and I got my quesadilla....mmmmmm!

Darn it! Now why didn't I think of a quesadilla for the leftovers? Oh well...next time! Great idea! Thanks :smile:

Also wonderful in enchiladas.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Speaking of Mexican cheese...Costco sells an interesting blend of shredded Monterey Jack, Medium Cheddar, Queso Quesadilla and Asadero Cheese under their Kirkland label. I picked up a bag (2 1/2 lbs.!) and plan to try it for all sorts of Mexican dishes, especially enchiladas and quesadillas.

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  • 2 months later...

Found this thread and will be making carnitas for what appears to be another snowy Sunday. I also ran across Jaymes' Mexican cookbook in Border's today and scooped it up. Very simple but very 'comfort' food oriented.

Burgundy makes you think silly things, Bordeaux makes you talk about them, and Champagne makes you do them ---

Brillat-Savarin

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As we speak (type?) I have some carnitas of the Goya Mojo Criollo variety in the fridge. Some are destined for the DeLonghi oven and a final destination of a tortilla with rinsed diced white onion, lime juice and Mexican crema. Otherwise, I continue to snack on the pile.

As to cheese . . . If any of you have access to the products of the Texas company, Cheesemakers Inc. they make some dynamite melting cheese under the Jaimito brand. The quesadilla cheese is mind blowing. A quesadilla with that cheese and carnitas is a thing of beauty.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Found this thread and will be making carnitas for what appears to be another snowy Sunday.  I also ran across Jaymes' Mexican cookbook in Border's today and scooped it up.  Very simple but very 'comfort' food oriented.

Thought I'd better clarify....I think this refers to one of my favorite Mexican cookbooks, which I recommended earlier in the thread.

It IS very simple Mexican 'comfort food.' It's nobody's idea of a comprehensive Mexican cuisine tome, but if you're looking for stuff to sling together to get a good, tasty comida on the table, this is your book. Simple, fresh, easy to prepare.

The woman that wrote it lives in Tucson, so it's the food of the northern Mexico states, and the Arizona border.

Mexican Family Favorites Cookbook

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Made carnitas this afternoon. The smell make my husband crazy - he could hardly wait to eat. They turned out perfectly, enought for tomorrow too!

Thanks to Jaymes and all posters who helped out with their comments. :biggrin:

Burgundy makes you think silly things, Bordeaux makes you talk about them, and Champagne makes you do them ---

Brillat-Savarin

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  • 4 weeks later...
fifi, if I remember correctly, you own "All About Braising."  Read the recipe for Beef Rendang and see if you, too, don't think Asian carnitas!

AH HA!

By George, I think you've got it!

I know that way up-thread we speculated on carnitas with a Thai twist. I tried a small batch but I think I got the liquids wrong. (This recipe seems to correct that.) It was just ok. I am going to have to try this.

I don't know much about the language but I am wondering if the Rendang refers to a cooking technique or maybe a place where this technique is common. I will check in my other two books (Sodsook and Thompson) and see if I find anything similar.

Who knew. Oddly, there is a similar parallel in technique between Mexican moles and Thai curries.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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  • 1 year later...

Mmmm, there are some good ideas in this thread.

I learned to make carnitas nearly too many years ago to admit. My grandfather was Mexican and I grew up in a Mexican neighborhood. My version is a pretty simple one. Cubed (about 1 to 2 inches), untrimmed pork simmered in water (pressure cooker works, too), with garlic, minced onion, salt and generous amounts of pepper, until the meat is falling apart. If you have any pork bones, add them to the pot, as well.

Shred cooked pork with a fork or old fashioned potato masher works well, but leave small chunks. Serve hot on two corn tortillas heated on a griddle and overlapped. Place meat down the center, and top with fresh salsa & chopped fresh cilantro, a little guacamole and a squeeze of fresh lime.

A few months ago we happened on a little tiny Mexican food place in a northern Utah town. This was exactly how they made theirs, too. I couldn't buy enough of them, they were so good and they brought back such good memories.

Linda

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  • 3 weeks later...

I tried a batch of carnitas using the guidelines in this thread. Yum! This is the closest I've come to taco stand carnitas yet. I used OJ, tequila (bf and I have since concluded that the tequila I selected was perhaps *too* good for carnitas and that I should try a cheaper tequila next time), espazote, chilli powder and kosher salt. Last night, they were amazingly good, but seemed a bit off. The orange flavor was a bit strong, and the green flavors from the espazote and tequila were overpowered.

I snitched a couple cubes for a quesadilla for lunch, and the overnight rest in the fridge worked wonders. The green flavors are coming out much more, and the whole thing is much closer to what I'd been hoping for flavorwise. The texture was already dead on.

My gut feel is that adding some onion and lime juice to the braising liquid would work work wonders. Alternately, I could do them about the same way and add a squeeze of fresh lime juice to whatever I'm making with the carnitas. A friend has suggested a blend of lemon and lime juice, tequila and similar flavorings as well, so I'll have to try that.

Emily

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  • 1 month later...

I have to chime in with my choice of cinco de mayo meal today: Pork Butt, bone-in sliced rib style on sale y'day so I got 5lbs and prepped a braising liquid as per Jaymes suggestion:

1 pint chix stock

1 cup Cruzan Rum

1 cup OJ

1 med onion, wedged

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teasp coriander seed, crushed

1 teasp seasalt

1 teasp oregano

1/4 teasp allspice (a wink to jamaica)

several grinds of black pepper/cardamom blend (8:1)

Set my Creuset in a 280 oven at two pm y'day and found it gently bubbling when I got back at 6p. Lots of liquid - awesome smell. Set it on stove top, uncovered at low and evaporated half the liquid. Set it on an ice pack and cooled it down enough to chill overnight in the fridge.

My plan tonight is to finish it off on the stove top untill only porkfat remains then transfer to a pan for broiling until crispy. The pieces are already falling off the bone in convenient yet disorderly sizes which I think is fine as is. I can't wait!

Tips or suggestions on handling/serving and sides are welcome.

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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These were delicious! Not the orderly cubes I see above but they wrapped well in a flour tortilla as a mass of bite-sized nuggets. I did crave a sweet twist so I sliced a long, thin sliver off a ripe banana and added within. Good stuff - highly recomended!

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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Thank you, Johnnyd! The more I looked at your recipe, the more I liked it. I made it as written, only halving the rum and broth, and using a sliced whole orange instead of the OJ. I guess that wasn't really as written, huh? I did it in the oven for about 5 hours, then took out the onions and oranges and simmered it on the stovetop until the juices evaporated and it glazed and crisped. Here it is

gallery_16307_1993_79304.jpg

served with beans, avocado, and a little cake made from dead-ripe plaintain. So delicious! I got the idea for the plaintain cake from your use of a banana. That's sure a nice combo, and one I'll continue to use.

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