Love in a Tortilla {Carnitas}

What to make for dinner tonight? As many tried and true recipes/meals I make…I’m always looking to try something new. I came across this recipe here and was totally inspired. The fact that I had never made carnitas before was a bonus.
Carnitas ~ literally means “little meats,” typically pork, and braised slowly in a combination of juices and spices.
Like most recipes I come across, after looking through the list of ingredients, I pick out what I don’t care for and add in what I do like. This gets me in trouble sometimes with baking or with the first batch of caramels that I made over the weekend…but, that’s another post.
I shared a few ig’s along the way and promised to share the recipe if it turned out. It did. So much so that our family had it for dinner two nights in a row as the recipe made a healthy batch of food and, yes, the pork was even tastier the second day.

I didn’t take any formal picts, so I’ll just share my ig’s. They are not the sharpest, but you get the idea.  The recipe is at the bottom of the post.
As far as the herb/spice mix…add what you like. The same goes for the toppings, add your favorites. I’m on a fennel kick, so fennel landed on my carnitas, as did radishes. Whatever you like. ~Gina

photos © Gina Weathersby

Love in a Tortilla {Carnitas}
Recipe type: Main
  • 5 lb. pork butt (wrapped in twine)
  • 4 cups orange juice
  • 1 lime (juice)
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 med sized onion (roughly sliced)
  • 1 big handful of fresh cilantro (roughly chopped)
  • 4-5 fresh thyme branches
  • 3 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 T coffee grounds
  • 1 T toasted coriander seeds
  • 1 T Spanish paprika
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 3 T kosher salt
  • 1 bottle of beer (your choice)
  • Toppings:
  • Thinly sliced onions, fennel, radishes, red/yellow bell peppers, scallions
  • Manchego cheese (grated)
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Homemade salsa
  • Homemade guacamole
  • Lime juice
  • Hot sauce (of choice)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Take the pork out of the fridge, pierce with a pairing knife in several places, salt and let rest for 15 minutes.
  3. In a dutch oven, large enough for your pork butt, sear all sides of the meat with some of the olive oil and set aside.
  4. In the same dutch oven, add the sliced onions and cook a few minutes till a little color is showing.
  5. In a bowl, combine the oj, lime juice, chopped garlic, and all the herbs and spices, slowly adding the remainder of the olive oil while whisking.
  6. Place the pork back into the dutch oven on top of the onions.
  7. Pour the marinade and beer on top of the pork until the pork is almost fully submerged.
  8. Put the lid on and place on the middle rack of the preheated oven.
  9. Cook for 4 hours.
  10. Baste half way through and add a splash of more beer, if needed.
  11. When finished cooking, just pull the meat with tongs and a fork.
  12. Place meat into a heat proof bowl and ladle in it's juices.
  13. Serve the pork with warm tortillas and your toppings of choice, top off with the fresh salsa, guacamole, cilantro and finish with a generous grating of cheese and, of course, your favorite hot sauce.



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