Recipe – Carnitas

I was unfamiliar with what a carnita was until a recent jaunt to a new restaurant.  I liked it so much, I decided to try my own version.  Think of a Paleo version of a pork taco.

Meat:

Step 1:

  • Boneless pork shoulder roast (ours was 3+ pounds) with visible chunks of fat removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • about 1 tsp salt
  • about 1 tsp paprika
  • about 2 tsp basil
  • about 2 tsp majoram
  • I would have added some oregano as well, but we were out.

Make a dry rub on the pork out of all ingredients except garlic.  Place roast and garlic chunks in crock pot and cook on medium to high all day (6-8 hours).

Step 2:

  • 4 slices of bacon, chopped into about 8-10 pieces each
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 lime

In a large skillet, place bacon.  Cook on medium heat for a few minutes until you have some good grease going and bacon is starting to look cooked.  Add onion and cook until onion just starts to turn translucent.  While this is happening, remove pork roast from crock pot.  It should be falling apart into thin strips.  Break apart any parts that are still in chunks and remove any large fat chunks.  Add the pull-apart pork to the bacon/onion yumminess, stirring and cooking until well heated through.  Remove from heat and squirt the juice from 1/2 lime on top and stir.

Shells:

  • Butter lettuce or another variety, such as red leaf, that doesn’t have a strong flavor.  Look for largest leaves.  Rinse and pat dry.  These will be your shells.

Toppings:

Guacamole:

Now, most sane people have a better guac recipe than this, and I would recommend using a tastier one.  I’m not a guac fan, but did like it in this recipe.  This is how I made my guac, but I’m sure there are much better recipes out there.

  • 2 small, ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and placed in a food processor
  • 4-5 scallions (green onions) diced and placed in food processor.
  • pinch of cayenne pepper

Grind in food processor until smooth.

Update 2014:  Awesome guacamole recipe here: Bacon Guacamole

Pico de Gallo:

  • 3 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 red or yellow onion, diced (I prefer red, but yellow is all we had).
  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp chopped cilantro, if desired

Combine and stir.

Pineapple:

  • 1/3 to 1/2 of a fresh pineapple, diced small.

I can’t say enough good things about the pineapple.  It made an awesome flavor with the salty meat.

Assembly:

Take your lettuce leaf, and use it like a taco shell.  Add some meat, small dollop of guacamole, a sprinkle of pico de gallo, and a respectable amount of pineapple.  Wrap tight and eat!

 Modified Version:

I didn’t have a pork shoulder roast, so had to use a pork sirloin.  Because it had much less fat, I had to put it in the food processor to grind it up and mix it with the cooked bacon, bacon grease, and onions.  I also didn’t do the pico de gallo this time and left the pineapple in bigger chunks (would have been better smaller).

 Carnitas, modified version

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>