PREP TIME: 25 Minutes
COOK TIME: 1 Hour, 45 Minutes
SERVINGS: 6 Servings
I am always on the lookout for a “better way” to cook my favorite dishes, one of them being pork carnitas. I love the traditional pork carnitas, with the Manteca (lard) and all, but not a method I use too often. The slow cooker yields moist carnitas, but not that crisp brown exterior that I love and identify carnitas with. For me, the next best method to cook carnitas without a lot of extra work would be slow-roasted in the oven. I originally tried this method using larger cuts of pork butt and it was delicious as well. This method was adapted from my favorite chef, Rick Bayless. For this recipe, I used some fairly inexpensive pork steaks, added some extra spices and a little fresh orange juice to yield some very tasty slow-roasted pork carnitas.
For the Carnitas
- Mix the fresh orange juice and 1/4 cup of water and pour in one side of baking dish with pork. Cover tightly with foil paper and roast in the preheated oven for 1 hour.
- After an hour, remove foil paper from carnitas. Turn oven temperature up to 450ºF. Return to oven and continue roasting until the liquid evaporates and carnitas begin to caramelize and brown. This may take up to 40 minutes. At this point, you will have to turn the carnitas (3 or 4 times) every 5 to 6 minutes to achieve a crisp and brown exterior. I like to drizzle with a little olive oil and fresh lime juice during the last 10 minutes, but that is optional.
- Remove carnitas from oven and let them sit for 5 minutes. Serve as-is or chop into smaller pieces for tacos. Serve with warm tortillas and your favorite taco fixings. Add a side of rice and beans for a full meal.
For Red or Green Salsa
- Roughly chop all of the salsa ingredients. This will ensure you don’t have any large chunks, but a more uniform salsa.
- Both red and green salsas will be prepared in the same order of ingredients. To the mini chopper or processor, first add the chile peppers, green onions and cilantro. Pulse to chop into small cuts. Add the tomatoes (or tomatillos) and again pulse to chop. Transfer to serving dish. Mix in the lime juice, season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill.
- FOR THE CARNITAS
- 2½POUNDS PORK STEAKS BONELESS, IF POSSIBLE (OR COUNTRY RIBS)
- 1¼TEASPOONS KOSHER SALT
- 1TEASPOON FRESH CRACKED PEPPER
- 1/2TEASPOON GROUND CUMIN
- 1/2TEASPOON GRANULATED GARLIC POWDER
- 1/2TEASPOON MILD OR SPICY CHILE POWDER YOUR CHOICE
- 1/4TEASPOON GROUND CINNAMON
- 1/4TEASPOON CRUSHED MEXICAN OREGANO
- 1LARGE ORANGE JUICED
- 1/4CUP WATER
- FOR FRESH RED OR GREEN SALSA
- 4LARGE ROMA TOMATOES OR TOMATILLOS
- 2JALAPEÑO PEPPERS OR SERRANO PEPPERS
- 2GREEN ONIONS
- 1-2TABLESPOONS CHOPPED CILANTRO
- 2TABLESPOONS LIME JUICE
- FRESH CRACKED PEPPER TO TASTE
Source: Hispanic Kitchen
The Mazatlan Post