Pork carnitas have long been on my "gotta blog" list and this past weekend
I was given the perfect excuse to finally do it. Our church welcomed our
new senior pastor and his lovely family to town and I had the privilege of
serving them a meal as they started to move in.
Now, before I get some reasonably predictable replies, I know that these
aren't authentic carnitas, which are typically braised in boiling fat or lard.
These are indeed braised long and slow, but in a rich liquid of chicken stock
and enchilada sauce. I wanted to skirt the line between ease of
preparation and authenticity. I was very happy with the results.
5 lbs Boneless pork shoulder (or country-style ribs)
32 oz Chicken stock (I used boxed from Costco)
2 cans (15 oz) Mild enchilada sauce (I used Las Palmas)
2 large Yellow sweet onions, peeled and quartered
6 cloves Garlic, peeled and chopped rough
1 packet McCormick Grill Mates Mexican Fiesta
1 packet McCormick Grill Mates Baja Citrus
1 packet McCormick Grill Mates Backyard Brew
1 cup Cilantro, chopped rough (optional)
3/4 cup Canola oil
1/3 cup Apple cider vinegar
2 tsp Smoked paprika
Cut the pork into 2-inch cubes, removing any heavy fat.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the marinade mixes, oil, vinegar, and
paprika, and whisk to combine. Add the pork, toss to coat well, cover with
plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes.
In a large heavy pot (preferably an enameled cast iron dutch oven),
combine the chicken stock, one can of the enchilada sauce, onion, garlic,
and cilantro if you want it (I left it out because we're cilantro-senstive).
Bring the liquid to a simmer over medium-high heat.
Gently add the pork and the marinade to the simmering liquid, cover, and
bring back to a light simmer.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer until the pork is
fork-tender, about three hours.
Heat your oven to broil.
Using a Chinese wire strainer or slotted spoon, remove the pork and onions
to a large roasting pan. Spread the meat evenly throughout the pan,
breaking the pieces of meat in half into smaller one-inch chunks.
Drizzle the pork with the second can of enchilada sauce, and put it in your
oven so that the the pork is about six inches from the broiler.
I used a disposable foil pan so for ease of clean-up for the family I
Paying close attention, cook the pork under the broiler until the outside
just starts to brown and crisp, about five minutes.
Serve with warm corn tortillas, fresh pico de gallo, and your favorite refried
beans. I served my Funky Refried Beans
(Makes about 10 servings)