Friday, May 4, 2012

Carnitas a la Hakuna Fritatta

Well it's that time of year, kiddies! Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo and the local Mega Lo Mart has big packages of pork butt on sale. We're talking cheap! $1.48 at Winco. So I got one. America's Test Kitchen started sending me newsletters and, lo and behold, video of them making carnitas. I've made carnitas before from the recipe in Ronald Johnson's Aficionado's Southwestern Cooking, but I didn't realize that oranges were part of the braising flavorings. I actually do have lard in the frig that was purchased specifically for making carnitas, but compromising on the advice in the video, I used a tablespoon or two of the lard to brown the meat instead of a pound or two as directed in other recipes (I'd brown stew meat for stew, so why not the pork for carnitas?) and then chicken stock as the braising liquid so I can reduce it later and pour it over the meat.

Still have to figure out what to do with that package of chorizo purchased at Gateway Produce yesterday...

3-4 pounds of pork butt, cut into roughly 2" chunks
1-2 Tbs lard
1 onion, quartered vertically
3 cloves of garlic, mashed with the flat side of the knife
1 orange, juiced
1 tsp ground cumin (or to taste)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp chili powder
1\2 tsp cayenne
2 c water

Preheat oven to 300. Melt lard in Dutch oven, then brown pork chunks (probably need to do it in 2-3 batches. Return pork to Dutch oven and add onion, garlic, stock and spices. Simmer over medium heat about 30 minutes. Cover and transfer to oven. Braise for an hour, then turn meat over and continue braising for another hour, or until meat easily comes apart with a fork.

Shred meat, spread out on a baking sheet and return to oven until crispy on the edges, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, bring reserved braising liquid to a boil and reduce to a sauce-like consistency. Pour sauce over meat and use as filling for tacos, enchiladas and burritos.


  1. I am taking a very quiet afternoon to catch up on all of my food blog reading, so that's why it's taking me 21 days to comment. This recipe is causing major salivation. There is nothing like slow-cooked pork!

  2. Oh, thank you! I'm so flattered.