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SpikeC
06-11-2012, 08:26 PM
There are many carnitas approaches out there, do any of you guys have one that you think is the best? I got a chunk of pork shoulder on sale and I want to do carnitas!!

stereo.pete
06-11-2012, 08:39 PM
Yes, please let us know, I would love to hear as well. Now if I remember correctly I roasted a pork butt for approximately 12 hours at 225 in the oven. Prior to that I marinated it in onions, fresh squeezed orange juice, paprika and garlic powder. I shredded it and made tacos and they were phenomenal. Not quite carnitas but the best damn pork tacos I've ever had in Chicago.

EdipisReks
06-11-2012, 08:45 PM
There are many carnitas approaches out there, do any of you guys have one that you think is the best? I got a chunk of pork shoulder on sale and I want to do carnitas!!

Spike, my friend, do it slow and you can't do it wrong.

SpikeC
06-11-2012, 08:54 PM
One way that seemed to make sense to me was to but the pork in a pot with water and simmer it for 4 hours or so until the water was gone, then browning in the rendered fat.

Pabloz
06-11-2012, 09:42 PM
Here is how I remember it from El Paso:

Get a really big cast iron kettle hanging on a tripod and start a wood fire under it.....scrap lumber from construction sites, fire wood etc. Start with about 20#'s pork fat and render out the lard and then scoop out the chicharones. Cool on a metal wire screen, from one of your windows, supported by 4 red bricks on the picknick table. Eat with Chulola or Tabasco while drinking Modelo Especial or your favorite Mexican beer, the Patron come later. Next throw in about 15#'s diced pork (1-2" cubes) that have been seasoned with Sazon and resting in the fridge since day before yesterday. Let sizzle in the rendered lard a little while, add about 1 beer or so, stirring constantly with the oar from you car top fishing boat. Add, 5#'s orange, lemon and lime slices, 1 gallon milk, one 750ml bottle cheap tequilla and the final secret ingredient is the ash from all the Marlboro smoking hermanos. Cook until crispy outside and white, not pink, in the middle. When you are near the end of cooking the meat, 2-3 minute or another beer, add a couple of pounds of whole jalapenos stem and all. Scoop out and drain on the same screen that had the chicharones. Serve with warm corn tortillas by the kilo, guacamole, pico de gallo, the fried whole jalapenos y Patron....SALUD!!!

Some of the best friendship and outdoor eats I ever remember having!!!!

SpikeC
06-11-2012, 10:10 PM
What if you don't have a fishing boat?

stereo.pete
06-11-2012, 10:11 PM
Here is how I remember it from El Paso:

Get a really big cast iron kettle hanging on a tripod and start a wood fire under it.....scrap lumber from construction sites, fire wood etc. Start with about 20#'s pork fat and render out the lard and then scoop out the chicharones. Cool on a metal wire screen, from one of your windows, supported by 4 red bricks on the picknick table. Eat with Chulola or Tabasco while drinking Modelo Especial or your favorite Mexican beer, the Patron come later. Next throw in about 15#'s diced pork (1-2" cubes) that have been seasoned with Sazon and resting in the fridge since day before yesterday. Let sizzle in the rendered lard a little while, add about 1 beer or so, stirring constantly with the oar from you car top fishing boat. Add, 5#'s orange, lemon and lime slices, 1 gallon milk, one 750ml bottle cheap tequilla and the final secret ingredient is the ash from all the Marlboro smoking hermanos. Cook until crispy outside and white, not pink, in the middle. When you are near the end of cooking the meat, 2-3 minute or another beer, add a couple of pounds of whole jalapenos stem and all. Scoop out and drain on the same screen that had the chicharones. Serve with warm corn tortillas by the kilo, guacamole, pico de gallo, the fried whole jalapenos y Patron....SALUD!!!

Some of the best friendship and outdoor eats I ever remember having!!!!

Yeah, what Paul said... That sounds like the best time ever!

SpikeC
06-11-2012, 10:11 PM
Would it be accurate to consider carnitas to be pork confit?

G-rat
06-11-2012, 10:39 PM
Here is how I remember it from El Paso:

Get a really big cast iron kettle hanging on a tripod and start a wood fire under it.....scrap lumber from construction sites, fire wood etc. Start with about 20#'s pork fat and render out the lard and then scoop out the chicharones. Cool on a metal wire screen, from one of your windows, supported by 4 red bricks on the picknick table. Eat with Chulola or Tabasco while drinking Modelo Especial or your favorite Mexican beer, the Patron come later. Next throw in about 15#'s diced pork (1-2" cubes) that have been seasoned with Sazon and resting in the fridge since day before yesterday. Let sizzle in the rendered lard a little while, add about 1 beer or so, stirring constantly with the oar from you car top fishing boat. Add, 5#'s orange, lemon and lime slices, 1 gallon milk, one 750ml bottle cheap tequilla and the final secret ingredient is the ash from all the Marlboro smoking hermanos. Cook until crispy outside and white, not pink, in the middle. When you are near the end of cooking the meat, 2-3 minute or another beer, add a couple of pounds of whole jalapenos stem and all. Scoop out and drain on the same screen that had the chicharones. Serve with warm corn tortillas by the kilo, guacamole, pico de gallo, the fried whole jalapenos y Patron....SALUD!!!

Some of the best friendship and outdoor eats I ever remember having!!!!

This is the gospel of carnitas.

G-rat
06-11-2012, 10:40 PM
Would it be accurate to consider carnitas to be pork confit?

A really quick confit but YES

mhlee
06-11-2012, 11:17 PM
One way that seemed to make sense to me was to but the pork in a pot with water and simmer it for 4 hours or so until the water was gone, then browning in the rendered fat.

IIRC, Rick Bayless's recipe for carnitas is very similar to this. I've done this and it works quite well. However, be sure to include a lot of fat in the pot with the water; the fat will render so you will have enough lard to brown the pieces of pork.

mhlee
06-11-2012, 11:21 PM
Would it be accurate to consider carnitas to be pork confit?

I recall reading that how carnitas is made depends on the region. The slow fry method is, IIRC, Michoacan style.

Personally, I prefer this the most. Other styles of carnitas, that are roasted or braised, don't have the nice crunchy texture that I associate with the best carnitas.

Pabloz
06-11-2012, 11:59 PM
What if you don't have a fishing boat?

The oar works just fine by itself.

SpikeC
06-12-2012, 09:32 PM
I'm finding two approaches to carnitas, one is the traditional braise, browning the meat then adding liquid for a long slow simmer. The other is simmering the meat in liquid and cooking the liquid away, then browning the meat in rendered fat. The second method should result in crispier meat, does one method have an advantage with regard to the maillard reaction?

steeley
06-14-2012, 03:35 AM
What no coca cola .

SpikeC
06-15-2012, 04:56 PM
OK, after a fair bit of research I cooked up some pork yesterday. After cutting the butt into chunks I sprinkled on some of my dry rub and a bit of extra salt, then put it into a 6 qt. stock pot.
8018
I juiced an orange, a lemon, and a lime, added 1/2 a sweet onion, 4 sliced cloves of garlic and 3 fresh bay leaves. These went into the pot with enough water to just cover.
8019
I cooked it until the liquid evaporated and let it brown in the rendered fat.
8020
I fried some corn tortillas and made tacos with guac, cheddar and napa slaw.
8021
It worked out pretty well!

Crothcipt
06-15-2012, 08:49 PM
looks good spike.

Pabloz
06-15-2012, 11:32 PM
YEA MAN...I'd eat it. Next time add some elotes as a side and Patron to wash it down.

SpikeC
07-06-2012, 09:04 PM
Round two:
One of my local markets had "boneless Country style ribs" on sale, just slices of pork shoulder, so I brought a couple of pounds home. This time I added a soaked California chili and a bottle of lager, plus a bunch more garlic and onion.
8400
My battery died so no finished picture, unfortunately. Tonight was burrito with the pork, some mushed avocado with lime and green onion, cheddar and rice cooked with salsa, corn, peas,garlic and carrots. My tummy is quite happy tonight.

Pabloz
07-06-2012, 09:15 PM
RIGHT ON Spike!!! We'll make a hermano out of you yet!!!

EdipisReks
07-06-2012, 09:35 PM
OK, after a fair bit of research I cooked up some pork yesterday. After cutting the butt into chunks I sprinkled on some of my dry rub and a bit of extra salt, then put it into a 6 qt. stock pot.
8018
I juiced an orange, a lemon, and a lime, added 1/2 a sweet onion, 4 sliced cloves of garlic and 3 fresh bay leaves. These went into the pot with enough water to just cover.
8019
I cooked it until the liquid evaporated and let it brown in the rendered fat.
8020
I fried some corn tortillas and made tacos with guac, cheddar and napa slaw.
8021
It worked out pretty well!

that looks great!

Jim
07-06-2012, 10:42 PM
Sounds good spike. Blazing a new trail.

Lucretia
07-06-2012, 11:34 PM
Sounds like if you give a call right when you put it on to simmer, I can be there in time for dinner. Looks great!

Jay
07-07-2012, 02:50 PM
Who has a hard core tacos al pastor recipe for me?

SpikeC
07-14-2012, 09:57 PM
Round 3 today- I toasted 2 California chilis and a home grown and smoked chipolte, soaked and blended to a paste, and fried with a bunched of chopped garlic and onion. I got 4 pounds of shoulder (on sale) and cut it up and seasoned with my butt rub, chili powder and oregano and let it sit in the fridge over night. The orange lemon and lime juice and beer for liquid and it cooked down for about 5 hours till the juice was gone.
This just keeps getting better! Tonight it was on the side of a salad of romaine and avocado with refer pickled cauliflower and artichoke hearts.
I'm thinking burritos tomorrow, maybe.

Mike9
07-15-2012, 09:50 PM
I like Bayless's method and when pork shoulder is on sale I have the meat guy slice it 1-1/2" thick. For a party I made pork and goat carnitas and while the goat was challenging and required added fat and longer covered cooking I pulled it off and there was not much left at the end of the night. I do deviate by using a seasoning I make instead of straight salt like Rick does.

SpikeC
07-15-2012, 10:58 PM
I cooked some rice using salsa for part of the liquid and had the carnitas on it with sliced avocado. It was pretty yummy I would say.

JasonD
07-20-2012, 03:02 PM
Thanks for this recipe/technique! Did my first carnitas today with the Bayless method and using the fresh citrus juice/beer for the cooking liquid. It turned out really awesome! I'm sorry I only cooked half of the pork shoulder. Hehe made my own "at-home Chipotle" and it was killer.

SpikeC
07-20-2012, 05:32 PM
The chipotle that I used was from some red jalapeņo that I smoked in the BGE!

EdipisReks
07-20-2012, 05:38 PM
The chipotle that I used was from some red jalapeņo that I smoked in the BGE!

i seriously need to get one of those things.

Shinob1
09-09-2012, 07:48 PM
So when you're simmering this, I assume it's on a burner on low? Or are you sticking it in the oven? I want to give this a try as I have been really craving some carnitas.

SpikeC
09-09-2012, 07:51 PM
On the stove top, as low as it will go. I'm thinking of trying it in a pressure cooker, though!

Shinob1
09-09-2012, 08:09 PM
Nice - how long did you let it cook in the fat after the liquid had evaporated?

SpikeC
09-09-2012, 08:31 PM
I used some soon after the liquid was gone, butt most got reheated in the Griswold with the grease!