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Other than Brewing => All Things Food => Topic started by: pinnah on December 20, 2013, 04:52:07 PM

Title: Carnitas
Post by: pinnah on December 20, 2013, 04:52:07 PM
I love carnitas, and order them wherever I go...but have yet to make them at home.

Does anyone have a favorite recipe they could share?  Any critical tips?
Thanks in advance.

Feliz Navidad...I am going to have Mexican holiday dinner.  Mmmmm, Carnitas.
Title: Re: Carnitas
Post by: euge on December 20, 2013, 06:20:58 PM
Braise, then crisp up the meat in a hot oven or even the grill.
Title: Re: Carnitas
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on December 20, 2013, 08:37:26 PM
Braise, then crisp up the meat in a hot oven or even the grill.

+ 1

I like using a blazing hot cast iron pan on the grill. Extra crispiness
Title: Re: Carnitas
Post by: gmac on December 20, 2013, 10:58:59 PM
Braise, then crisp up the meat in a hot oven or even the grill.
Should the braise be done in lard?  Thought that was part of the magic.
Title: Re: Carnitas
Post by: euge on December 21, 2013, 01:03:58 AM
I believe so but that isn't the only way to make it. An untrimmed appropriately rubbed pork butt wrapped in foil in the egg would braise up nicely in its own fat and juices. That's what I'd do. Then one could take several different steps from there. You could do the meat in advance and chill- then pull it apart roughly before reheating, which would be the crisping phase. This can be done in the fryer, on a grill, in a pan or the oven.

I've had some mediocre carnitas obviously done in the oven and not crispy at all and some that were beef! Chopped carne asada passed off as carnitas- which is very common in my area.

A properly prepared pork butt can feed a lot of people if made into carnitas. Better bring your rolaids along though.. ;)



Title: Re: Carnitas
Post by: HoosierBrew on December 21, 2013, 01:08:47 AM
Love some carnitas.  I agree that crisping up the exterior is key.  Gonna have to make some soon !
Title: Re: Carnitas
Post by: euge on December 21, 2013, 03:48:06 AM
Love some carnitas.  I agree that crisping up the exterior is key.  Gonna have to make some soon !

Bone in butts are $1.48 now it being christmas season and all. Was $1 last year...


Anyway- why don't I take my own suggestion? I'm feeling carnivorous.
Title: Re: Carnitas
Post by: erockrph on December 21, 2013, 02:55:14 PM
Man, this is giving me an itch to cook. I'm going to need to figure out a "light" version, though since I'm trying desperately to lose the extra weight I've put on this year (and then some). I'll probably start with a pork tenderloin braised in Mojo with a little olive oil. Then I'll cut it into some large chunks, pan sear, maybe throw it back into the oven in the skillet for a bit, then shred it up. The key is going to be figuring out how to keep it moist without adding too much fat back in. Hopefully the acid in the Mojo will help a bit.
Title: Re: Carnitas
Post by: pinnah on December 22, 2013, 04:26:16 PM
mmm. The house smells good this morning.  Decided to braise in the crock pot...turned it on at midnight.
I put in some chipotle/adobo.

I am going to crisp on the grill with cast iron...thanks Kyle.

Tacos for the game.  Yum.

The key is going to be figuring out how to keep it moist without adding too much fat back in. Hopefully the acid in the Mojo will help a bit.

Someone told me to throw in some Fanta...the Mexican orange crush.  Maybe they make it in diet? ;D
Title: Re: Carnitas
Post by: roguejim on December 26, 2013, 01:36:38 AM
I routinely smoke a pork butt, pull/shred it, and give it a quick crisp in some grease for tacos.  Not technically carnitas, but no self respecting Mexican would turn it down, either. 
Title: Re: Carnitas
Post by: brewmichigan on January 03, 2014, 02:32:58 PM
From a thread earlier this year. I posted the ATK recipe on there of which I have made a few times.

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=16560.msg209223#msg209223
Title: Re: Carnitas
Post by: gmwren on January 03, 2014, 03:26:28 PM
Man, this is giving me an itch to cook. I'm going to need to figure out a "light" version, though since I'm trying desperately to lose the extra weight I've put on this year (and then some). I'll probably start with a pork tenderloin braised in Mojo with a little olive oil. Then I'll cut it into some large chunks, pan sear, maybe throw it back into the oven in the skillet for a bit, then shred it up. The key is going to be figuring out how to keep it moist without adding too much fat back in. Hopefully the acid in the Mojo will help a bit.

The Mojo is a great source for that light citrus orange flavor. After braising the cubed meat, (don't trim the fat) shred it to your desired size. Reduce the braising liquid until thick, toss with the pork and then crisp it under the broiler on a wire rack cooling tray over a rimmed baking sheet. Much of the grease drips away this way, but enough is present to aide in crisping.
Title: Re: Carnitas
Post by: pinnah on January 03, 2014, 03:31:15 PM
From a thread earlier this year. I posted the ATK recipe on there of which I have made a few times.

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=16560.msg209223#msg209223

Thanks Michigan!!  I thought I did a search but must have missed that.
I bought another butt yesterday, bc as Euge mentioned....they are dirt cheap.
mmm, carnitas.  I could eat that food for breakfast.

Title: Re: Carnitas
Post by: chumley on January 03, 2014, 04:13:52 PM
I like to do them Yucatan style.  Recipe adapted from a brewrat named Nathi.

4# boston butt pork roast

Marinade:
 6 garlic cloves, crushed (or more!)
 1 cup sour orange juice (can buy bottled at hispanic grocery, called Naranja Agria in spanish, or you can use 50/50 lime and orange juice)
 2 tbsp achiote paste (pure achiote, not the spice mix. Find at hispanic grocery)
 1 tsp salt
 1/4 tsp chili powder
 about 20 fresh ground peppercorns
 2 tsp Mexican oregano
 1/8 tsp cumin
 1/8 tsp allspice
 about 1/4 a med yellow onion, minced, or just use onion powder

Optional Marinade Ingredients:

 Some nice strong and fruity olive oil
 A little cream sherry
 1/2 cup hulled pumpkin seeds, toasted and then ground in a spice grinder
 1 or 2 finely diced habs...or just serve with a nice hab salsa...which I think is a better idea

Serve with:
2 med yellow onions
1 Poblano pepper
2 Roma Tomatoes
Tortillas

1) Stab the roast many times to let marinade soak into thicker areas, add marinade and rub well
2) Marinade at least over night
3) Remove roast, save marinade. Smoke roast with your favorite wood (I like red oak for this) for 4 hours at 200°-225°F.
4) Remover roast from smoker and place into a crock pot (or a dutch oven or whatever) on low with the reserved marinade.  Cook for another 4 hours until the meat is falling apart.
5) Just before serving, slice the onions and peppers, cook in skillet with olive oil (or lard) until the onions are caramelized and slightly browned. Remove. Add tomatoes cut into small wedges and a little of the juice from the crock put (just a few Tbsp) to skillet while still hot and deglaze the skillet, remove after about 1 minute.
6) Serve Pork on top of the vegetables with tortillas on the side and some hot hab salsa


Title: Re: Carnitas
Post by: pinnah on January 03, 2014, 11:29:49 PM
Holy crap.  Sometimes I forget what amazing chefs brewers are.  Especially when it comes to meat.
Nice to have the chumley around again; you have me looking for a hispanic grocery.

Interesting for me all the different styles...but why not...Mexico is a big country with lots of regional variation.


Seriously...nothing makes my mouth water like the thought of crispy carnitas.  Thanks.

Title: Re: Carnitas
Post by: euge on January 03, 2014, 11:35:16 PM
I saw a Colorado chef on Travel channel show (Meat) today make them with country-style ribs. Looked dead simple. She did it in a dutch-oven stove-top
Title: Re: Carnitas
Post by: HoosierBrew on January 03, 2014, 11:45:40 PM


Seriously...nothing makes my mouth water like the thought of crispy carnitas.  Thanks.



+10.  I love carnitas.  I make tacos with mine, with cilantro, chopped onion and this fire roasted salsa :

                                              Puree:
                                              8 fire (or oven) roasted tomatillos
                                              4         "          roasted serrano peppers  (or amount for desired heat)
                                              1 medium         roasted onion
                                              Roasted garlic
                                              1 -2 Dried Ancho peppers (seeded,soaked in hot water for 1 hour, then pureed
                                              with other ingredients)
                                              Pinch of cumin and Mexican oregano
                                              Salt and pepper

                              I use corn tortillas of course.  Pretty much perfect tacos in my book !! Damn...hungry now.
                                             
Title: Re: Carnitas
Post by: morticaixavier on January 03, 2014, 11:48:07 PM
Man, this is giving me an itch to cook. I'm going to need to figure out a "light" version, though since I'm trying desperately to lose the extra weight I've put on this year (and then some). I'll probably start with a pork tenderloin braised in Mojo with a little olive oil. Then I'll cut it into some large chunks, pan sear, maybe throw it back into the oven in the skillet for a bit, then shred it up. The key is going to be figuring out how to keep it moist without adding too much fat back in. Hopefully the acid in the Mojo will help a bit.

not to encourage blatant carnivory, but eating some rich fatty meat is a good way to fill your belly on calories that won't... well fill your belly  ;)

As long as your heart is in good shape that is. That's why the atkins thing works. the body is crap at converting fat and protein into body fat and a champ at converting carbs into body fat.
Title: Re: Carnitas
Post by: Jimmy K on January 24, 2014, 01:35:16 AM
I saw a Colorado chef on Travel channel show (Meat) today make them with country-style ribs. Looked dead simple. She did it in a dutch-oven stove-top
A Honduran girl I know makes them with country style ribs. They are awesome! Marinated with some sort of sour oranges too.
Title: Re: Carnitas
Post by: klickitat jim on January 24, 2014, 05:24:02 AM
I routinely smoke a pork butt

In the day, this was one of my pickup lines. It must be a "Jim" thing.
Title: Re: Carnitas
Post by: euge on February 04, 2014, 07:40:13 PM
Sunday I made carnitas and they were the best ever.

We get vac packages of trimmed butt pieces "pork for carnitas" at HEB. I get about a kilo usually and make sausage with it. However this time I took half and actually made carnitas!

500g Pork butt pieces sliced into inch strips.
1/4 large red onion sliced
4 garlic cloves chopped rough
Dried marjoram and mexican oregano about 1/2 tsp each
1 bay leaf crunbled
2 chile de arbol crumbled
Salt and fresh cracked pepper about a tsp each

Lay the pork evenly in roasting pan so that they form a single layer but take up most of the space in the pan. Sprinkle other ingredients evenly over the meat with onions and garlic going on last. Then move onto the liquid phase.

The liquid component:

1/2 cup port wine
1/2 cup milk or buttermilk
juice of one lemon
pinch of cinnamon
2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin

Mix this well and gently pour into the roasting pan taking care not to disturb the layer. Should be enough to just co ver the meat. If not use a bit of water. Place lemon halves on top cut side down. Cover pan with foil and braise in 225* oven for 2.25 hrs.

After braising test for tenderness, and set pan aside to cool for 25 minutes or so. Turn oven to 450* Then decant cooking liquid into a fat separator and let the oil rise to the top- about five minutes. Then pour the "juice" out from under the fat into a small sauce-pan. Pour the fat back over the meat in the roasting pan. Place the uncovered pan in hot oven and give a shake every ten minutes while on the stove the sauce pan reduces the braising liquid by 1/2  or a bit less till it is a bit syrupy like thin bbq sauce. This goes over the crispy meat by the second or third shake and should only take at most another 10 minutes to evaporate and coat the tender crispy pork.

This renders a crispy yet slightly gooey tender falling apart mix of caramelized carnitas. Served on fresh corn tortillas.

I tend to do stuff like this in the toaster oven out in the garage to keep the heat and cooking odors to a minimum.
Title: Re: Carnitas
Post by: pinnah on February 07, 2014, 05:37:32 PM
Holy carnitas.  That sounds fantastic euge. And here it is almost lunchtime.
I think I am going to make some more this weekend.  I still have a spare pork butt in the freezer. :)

I had to Google fat separator.  All you alls are fancy. :P