Aaaaah carnitas!!!! This appetizer is all sorts of delectable, mouthwatering, palatable, well seasoned, geniusness! WHY DO YOU THINK I CHOSE CARNITAS AS MY LEADING HONORED PHOTO on Mexican Appetizers and More?! Carnitas in spanish means “little meats” and it refers to braised or roasted pork. Already sounds heavenly!
Btw, the ones displayed here on my cover photo are super simple in the sense that they do not contain the other toppings I will talk about later. For display purposes, I have shown that “carnitas” are not limited to pork and also wanted to show the true individuality of the meats. So what I’m saying is, turkey and chicken are also very possible. For now however, lets stick to these pork darlings.
Now listen to me, you will see this all over the internet enjoyed as a meal and Lord knows I’m not saying don’t enjoy these carnitas as a meal, just simply know that after you have these carnitas as an appetizer it will feel like you had a meal! You would have gobbled up quite a few of these! But remember, it’s an appetizer!
A lot of people claim that their “carnitas” come out dry…I will show you the way! “So come on, hear me?” “Come on, follow me!” You will be pleasantly surprised…I promise. But you will have to make a promise to me as well, ok? Promise you will not whimper, gripe or moan at the few extra steps it may take you to have scrumptious, succulent, savory carnitas! I promise you, you will thank me and applaude yourself. You will pat yourself on the back for creating such savory, moist carnitas.
The magic of carnitas are everywhere right nowwww….for those of you who do not know, carnitas is one of the favorite “street foods” in Mexico (although please note, that “carnitas” are served in upscale restaurants as well.) Lets go there for a second or two. Lets talk about where these very tasty, full of flavor carnitas came from. Carnitas, originated in Michoacan, Mexico but depending on the region of Mexico you’re in, they are seasoned differently. Michoacan, seasons them with bay leaf, thyme and marjoram. And another interesting tidbit is, there, they are called “hierbas de olor” which translates to “herbs that smell.”
In other regions in Mexico they add black pepper, garlic, chicken broth, coke or beer. In my creation, you will notice I love the garlicccc! Once “carnitas” are done, shredded and placed on simple corn tortillas with some guacamole, refried beans, chopped onions, salsa and cilantro…..uffff, no coming back! You will be making these “little meats” a little more often than not! Beyond perfect masterpieces for entertaining! Place them in a decorate dish, with corn tortillas on the side and all your other sides….. wallaaaa!!
I promise, once again, although this wonderful appetizer takes time, you will not be disappointed!
Add garlic cloves, red pepper flakes, oregano and olive oil to a chopper or blender.
annnnd chop, chop and blend, blend away. Form a paste. Ohhh for the glory of yumminess!
Chop the pork shoulder into 2 inch pieces, leaving the fat and skin on if you don’t mind that sort of thing….makes them taste better my friends…promise!
Many Mexicans use a cast iron pot, here however, I used a regular pot deep enough to hold the pork and the chicken broth.
Here is the pork with chicken broth to cover and bay leaves added.
Pork is starting to cook down and smelling amazing!!
Chop red onion, crumble queso fresco, slice avocado and sprinkle with lemon juice so the avocado does not turn brown.
And the winner is……..
Savory Pork Mexican Carnitas
|Prep time||10 minutes|
|Cook time||1 hour, 30 minutes|
|Total time||1 hour, 40 minutes|
- 5lb pork shoulder (cut into 2 inch cubes)
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 7 Cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil (or vegetable oil)
- 1/2 heaping cup vegetable shortening
- 2 bay leaves
- chicken broth (or water to cover)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 red onion (chopped)
- 1/4 cup cilantro (coarsely chopped)
- 3-4 avocados (thinly sliced)
- mexican queso fresco (crumbled)
- 1 lemon
- 1 Package corn tortillas
- Hot mexican sauce (for topping, optional)
|Add garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano and olive oil to a chopper or blender. Chop and blend.|
|Cut pork into 2 inch pieces. Over medium heat add vegetable shortening to a deep pot. Add pork and cook for about 10 minutes. Then add chicken broth, red wine vinegar, bay leaves and salt. Cook for 1 1/2 hours or until meat is super tender. Remove bay leaves.|
|Chop cilantro, red onion, crumble queso fresco and slice avocados. Sprinkle some lemon juice over avocado slices so they do not discolorate.|
|Warm tortillas a couple at a time in microwave for a few seconds. Assemble tortillas with some of the pork. Top with onion, avocado slices, cheese and cilantro. You can also sprinkle some lemon juice over carnitas if you like. Enjoy!|