We love carnitas, which just means little meats without respect to which variation, pork, chicken or beef – really who’s that picky? Our favorite is Pork Carnitas, the best is home made that is for sure, along with of course the obligatory rice and beans. We love to make a big bunch, and invite folks over and have enough to share with those who didn’t make it over. So here is how we make it.
Your shopping list:
- 8-10 Lbs Pork butt cut up
- 1 large sweet onion, peel and rough chop – don’t worry they will cook down
- 3-4 cloves garlic, smash, rough chop
- 2-3 serano chilies (deseed and rough chop – keep the seeds if you want more heat)
- 2-3 jalapeno chilies (ditto)
- 1 can chopped tomato’s (not sauce or salsa)
- chili powders (new mexico, california and pasilla powders – we just like this mix – if you have your favorites use them)
- Mexican Oregano
And the last 2 secret ingredients:
- 1 can evaporated milk (12 oz)
- 1 12 oz bottle or can coke (red can – not diet – accept no subsitutes!)
Take your meat, about 8 – 10 pounds Pork cuts, which are the heavily marbled cuts like the butt or picnic ham. Winco even cuts and packages is as “carnitas” in case you can’t figure out which one you want. Just make sure it’s not a lean cut – you need the fat marbling to make this good. Put them in a large heavy pot, I like a big cast iron one I have because it carries the heat well. Cut it into 3 inch sized chunks, don’t worry about the size – unless it’s one or two huge chunks. Now dump it all in a pot.
Dump in all your stuff, the onions, garlic, chilies and tomato’s, rough chopped and all, spices on top. Then pour your evaporated milk in – yes – dump it in. Then on top of that your coke. Trust me – it will be delicious.
Start your engines, cook this on medium til it comes to a nice simmer. Stir it around. Put your lid on it and turn it down to let it simmer for about 3 hours. The milk and the coke provide enough liquid, don’t worry. A nicely marbled meat will also juice out and the meat breaks down nicely.
You will know it’s done when it is all dark (not burnt silly) and the meat has fallen apart. You may want to put it on a low simmer to eliminate some of the liquid. I don’t add salt til the end when I can taste it. The meat should have good flavor, not too spicy (unless you added the seeds). It should be sweet from the coke as well. And well, your house should smell pretty good.
Serve it with some nicely fried fresh corn tortillas – I don’t like flour for these. Garnish your individual tacos with some nice pico, just chop up some sweet onion, chili’s cilantro and lime juice. And of course my kids love queso fresco on it as well.
Hopefully you had the beans cooking at the same time and some mexi rice going on the side… We consider this soul food and love it! I’d love to hear how it went for you.