Pork Carnitas

My family tends to eat Mexican inspired dishes a lot. I like to make a big batch of pork Carnitas once and while. Pork Carnitas means “little meats,” as some may know. This dish is made by braising or simmering pork in oil or lard until tender. This process can take several hours depending on how big you cut the pork pieces.

Once I cook a big batch of this, I portion the meat out into a small container or freezer bags. I bring it out when I don’t feel like cooking. You can use this to fill tacos, top nachos, and rice bowls. It can even be used to make flautas or chimichangas.

Ingredients

  • 3.5 lbs pork butt
  • 1 tbs minced garlic
  • 1/2 tbs salt
  • 1 cup bacon fat
  • 1 3″ cinnamon stick broken into pieces
  • 3 whole dried Thai chili or birds eye chili

Instructions

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut pork butt into large chunks, around the size of a baseball. Remove some fat depending on preference. I normally leave the fat on. Discard it later once it’s cooked.

Massage salt and garlic into the pork chunk. Transfer in heavy bottom pan. Add in chili and bacon fat.

Cook in the oven for about an hour uncovered. Flip the pork pieces after half an hour with tong. After an hour, cover the pork with foil. Cook for additional 1.5 hour. Uncover the pork to see if it is fork tender and easily pulls apart. Take out the pork pieces from fat. Remove the chili and cinnamon pieces from the cooked fat and discard.

Shred the pork, use tsp at a time of pork fat if the pork is dry. If you like your Carnitas crispy, you can crisp them up in a pan on the stove top. Use this pork to fill tacos, top nachos, or rice bowls.

This also freezes well if you have extra. Cool the leftover fat, transfer to a freezer container, and freeze. I use this fat at least two times when I cook another batch of pork. After that, discard.

Serves 8-10

Did you make this dish? I’d love to know how it turns out! Feel free to like this post and comment or use the hashtag #globaldinein on Instagram.

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