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Carnitas


snowangel
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Whoa. Abra, that looks so good I ran out and spent 10 bucks on more pork butt to make it again today! :raz:

I have this feeling that the price of butt is rising... :unsure: ...I'll have to PM from now on since we are obviously the trendsetting carnita crowd. Dang it's hard being so cool!

I'm thinking of tweaking it a smidge. Maybe I'll crack open that little can of chipotle in adobo for a little smoky-smoky flavor? Stay tuned.

"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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Abra, I have to find that recipe. Yours looks wonderful. Makes me wish I was having it for dinner tonight.

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, I make mine almost exactly the way you do. The only thing different is I add a little cumin and oregano to the chicken broth. The first time we had carnitas was about 25 years ago in a little off-the-tourist-track Mexican restaurant in San Juan, PR. of all places. Came home and duplicated it.

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  • 1 month later...

Good Luck. I re-read this thread last week and made a big batch myself. Yummy, they were.

**************************************************

Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

--------------------

One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

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I made five pounds on Saturday!

Added the cumin and sprigs of fresh oregano (it's taking over my herb plot) and upped the coriander seed to include whole seeds. Last time a few that escaped my pestle got into the mix and tasted GREAT when I bit into them after four+ hours of cooking. Used the last of some Cape Verdean Aguadente, a cup, with my orange juice and turkey stock. Also added cinnamon.

We finally had a wrap of it last night after resumed simmering and a blast under the broiler. Yum!

"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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  • 4 weeks later...

Okay, this could be bordering on over-kill, so somebody stop me, BUT THIS TIME I added dulce de leite (about two tablespoons to 5lbs Butt) and I have to say that mixture simmered down to quite the sauce! Tasted fantastic at this point! We are doing the final reduction and crisping tonight or tomorrow.

"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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Johnnyd:

What is dulce de leite? Raw sugar or something?

I was shopping for last night and this large pack of boneless pork should lept into my cart! You can imagine my shock and surpise.

I could only calm it down by promising to make carnitas out of it.

**************************************************

Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

--------------------

One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

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Dulce de leite (or, sweet milk) is really milk and sugar cooked down into a spreadable goo. It's very popular in latin america. The version I have has coconut in it. Here is a Wikipedia description that goes into detail.

I know some people are fans of puting their pork in milk overnight (or less) before cooking and I thought "what the hell?" Never mind that my braising liquid had OJ and rum as well! It came out really well - a tad gooier but I still haven't crisped it up yet - we end up just heating it up and filling up our tacos as soon as we can. :raz:

"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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  • 3 weeks later...

Damn you Jaymes. :biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:

Somehow this thread came up on my radar again and I now have about 8 pounds of carnitas stewing in the oven. This time its tequila, mango-lime-orange juice, salt and cumin. I think I'll take them to a party tomorrow evening just to get them out of the house!

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Damn you Jaymes.  :biggrin:  :biggrin:  :biggrin:

Hey, thanks for the compliment! :rolleyes:

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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  • 5 months later...
  • 1 month later...

Not heresy according to "The Border Cookbook". There's a recipe for beef carnitas in there, apparently after a recipe from a Santa Fe restaurant. So I say if you've got the beef, go for it!

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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I just read this entire thread and am thoroughly convinced about making carnitas. I'm thinking about cooking the pork in my slow cooker and then crisping it up in my turbo broiler (convection oven). Any ideas on substiting the tequila/alcohol in the recipe? I'd like to omit that if possible.

Edited by Domestic Goddess (log)

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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I just read this entire thread and am thoroughly convinced about making carnitas. I'm thinking about cooking the pork in my slow cooker and then crisping it up in my turbo broiler (convection oven). Any ideas on substiting the tequila/alcohol in the recipe? I'd like to omit that if possible.

I think if you go back to Jaymes first post on this topic, and eliminate the rum, tequila, etc., but follow her basic instructions, you'll be fine. I just used Goya's Mojo Criollo for the marinate, which is basically salt, OJ, lemon juice and "spices" you'll be find. In fact, next time, I wouldn't necessarily use the Mojo Criollo, as it is a bit too salty for my taste. I'm thinking OJ, lemon or lime juice, some cumin, perhaps some pepper, and a tidge of salt would be just wonderful. Marinade, put in a shallow pan (like a 9 x 13), so that everything is in one layer, with chix broth to almost cover, cover with foil, braise 'til tender, remove foil, crank up the oven so that the liquid can evaporate and the cubes crisp in fat is the way to go.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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I love carnitas. This tread got me thinking of making them. I am currently making some beef carnitas for this Friday Shabbat dinner. I'm using a couple of chuck/shoulder roasts. I used a good bit of orange zest, juice and some "lemon", the wild stock from an old grapefruit tree, juice as well as bay leaf, oregano, cumin and a few other things. The orange and sour citrus is similar to naranjas agría-sour orange. I added a little sugar to the broth so I can make sure I get some good color when I brown them up. This had less fat than I wanted but it will do.

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I made carnitas last night for a potluck at work. I don't have an oven right now so I did them following Jaymes recipe in my le crueset on the stovetop and then finished them on a baking tray under the broiler. They were very good, very tender and flavorful. I put a bit of bacon fat on the baking tray to give them a little extra to fry in since I couldn't render as much as I wanted via roasting.

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Snowangel/Susan - today's market day and I will be getting about 2 lbs of pork. Tomorrow's dinner would be carnitas. Thanks for the tip!

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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Here are my version of Jayme's carnitas.

Braised pork simmering in their lard...

gallery_48583_4079_355286.jpg

Carnitas cooling off while I fry another batch...

gallery_48583_4079_109505.jpg

Opened one to show the tender porky goodness inside. :wub:

gallery_48583_4079_300550.jpg

These got two thumbs up sign from my boys/hubby. Thanks Jaymes, Snowangel, et al!

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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Oooooooh. That looks delicious, Doddie!

Regarding what type of meat, while pork is traditional in most of Mexico, carnitas just means "little meats"

and there are regional favorites. Beef in the regions where cattle ranches predominate.

I have eaten goat carnitas - it is the style of cooking. I was once served turkey carnitas - made from wild turkeys which have very little "white" meat, and whose flesh is so tough it requires long, slow braising.

Here is what Wikipedia has to say about "carnitas"

I think the best results I personally ever achieved, were the batches of carnitas I prepared from wild boar, which I documented back in 2004.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've just read through this whole thread, and given that I still have 3 lbs of Boston Butt in the freezer (with the other 3 lbs sitting in their pork confit tub'o'lard) - I may need to do a Carnitas vs. Pork Confit taste-off.

This is what happens when a single person buys 8 lbs of Boston Butt and 8 lbs of Lard. Did I mention I also have a Muscovy sitting in the freezer waiting to be confited?

<sigh> so many dishes, so little time.

Edited by viva (log)

...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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Just started my first ever batch inspired by this thread. Should make for a mighty tasty lunch.

--edit made a tasty dinner came out great - the carnitas, frijoles refritos and salsa... mmmm porky goodness... Just like taco stand carnitas :)

Edited by 6ppc (log)

Jon

--formerly known as 6ppc--

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  • 1 year later...

Bumping this up as I just made carnitas for a taco meal (and as part of the taco cook-off). A few thoughts:

I did the braise then saute method. My braise was with chicken stock, a cut-up lime, a cut-up orange, some onion, garlic, ancho, Mexican oregano, salt and black pepper. I put all of the pork skin atop the meat to braise. The saute was with both lard (rendered in the braise and a bit more) and some corn oil I'd used to fry chiles last week. Then, for good measure, I squeezed another orange and lime on 'em.

I split the batch bc of the pan size but then also realized that I liked the dual texture: crunchy brown lovelies plus meatier, less-Maillardy chunks. So one batch I did to deep brown and the other batch was less so.

I added turbinado sugar (1T mebbe?) to the first, more caramelized batch. That was a good thing. I also added the juice of one lime and one orange to the whole batch.

My chunks are a lot smaller than those shown in this topic, more in the 1/2-1" range when raw (and thus smaller when cooked). I think that these are better for tacos, and they resemble the carnitas I have had at restaurants. Those big chunks seem, well, too big to me.

All in all, I had to restrain myself from eating the whole damned batch tonight, guests tomorrow night be damned.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Hi all --

Glad to see this thread as I'm contemplating making carnitas tomorrow...

I made my first batch a while back, using Jaymes' basic instructions... I can't remember all the details right now, but I do remember using at least some chicken broth for the braise, and -- even though the broth was "low sodium" -- found the end result VERY salty... I also found that I didn't really have distinct cubes at the end -- the meat had fallen apart enough such that I got more along the lines of tasty caramelized mush. Maybe bigger cubes to avoid this?

Emily

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