Author Topic: Carnitas  (Read 1405 times)

Offline pinnah

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Carnitas
« on: December 20, 2013, 09:52:07 AM »
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.

Offline euge

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Re: Carnitas
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2013, 11:20:58 AM »
Braise, then crisp up the meat in a hot oven or even the grill.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Carnitas
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2013, 01:37:26 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
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Offline gmac

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Re: Carnitas
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2013, 03:58:59 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.

Offline euge

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Re: Carnitas
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2013, 06:03:58 PM »
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.. ;)



The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Online HoosierBrew

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Re: Carnitas
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2013, 06:08:47 PM »
Love some carnitas.  I agree that crisping up the exterior is key.  Gonna have to make some soon !
Jon H.

Offline euge

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Re: Carnitas
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2013, 08:48:06 PM »
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.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline erockrph

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Re: Carnitas
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2013, 07:55:14 AM »
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.
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Offline pinnah

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Re: Carnitas
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2013, 09:26:16 AM »
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

Offline roguejim

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Re: Carnitas
« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2013, 06:36:38 PM »
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. 

Offline brewmichigan

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Re: Carnitas
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2014, 07:32:58 AM »
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
Mike --- Flint, Michigan

Offline gmwren

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Re: Carnitas
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2014, 08:26:28 AM »
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.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 08:29:07 AM by gmwren »

Offline pinnah

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Re: Carnitas
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2014, 08:31:15 AM »
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.


Offline chumley

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Re: Carnitas
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2014, 09:13:52 AM »
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



Offline pinnah

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Re: Carnitas
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2014, 04:29:49 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.