They I started wondering … what exactly is a carnita? Is it just a shredded pork sandwich? Except in a tortilla instead of a bun?
According to Wikipedia:
Carnitas, literally “little meats”, is a type of braised or roasted (often after first being simmered) pork in Mexican cuisine. Pork carnitas is traditionally made using the heavily marbled, rich ‘boston butt‘ or ‘picnic ham‘ cuts of pork… The 6–16 lb (3–7 kg) sections are usually cut down to a workable (6–10 lb) size and seasoned heavily before slow braising or slow roasting, generally in the range of 160 to 180 °F for 8 to 12 hours…. Prior to serving, the pork, along with some of the rendered liquid, is placed in fairly shallow pans (to maximize surface area) and roasted at high (375 to 425 °F or 190 to 220 °C) heat for a few minutes to produce the desired alternating texture of succulent softness and caramelized crispness.
So, therefore, what I made I don’t think technically is a carnita, but according to my husband, it was darn good!
Adapted from What’s Cookin Chicago?
Print this recipe!
3 lb boneless pork loin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 onion, peeled and diced
6 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
1 – 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 tbsp cumin
1 sprig fresh oregano
1 spring fresh thyme
Tortillas, or chia pan bread
Chopped cilantro, jalapeno peppers, shredded cheese, lime slices, or additional toppings
Season the pork well with salt and pepper. Place in the crock pot. Add the onion, garlic and diced tomatoes – juice and all. Sprinkle the cumin on top of the tomatoes, and top with the sprig of oregano and thyme.
(Obviously that was before the oregano and thyme was put in!)
Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Shred the pork with a fork – mine just fell apart!
Serve with your choice of toppings – I had sliced jalapeno peppers, cilantro, and shredded cheese.
I also made my chia pan bread instead of tortillas – worked great!
I love this, because I am a condiment girl, and you can top these however you want!
But a touch of lime juice really made the flavors pop!
I don’t know if it is because these jalapeno peppers were so huge, but they were not hot at all! I ate an entire one by myself – and didn’t remove the seeds! I like spicy food, but sometimes (to me) jalapenos can be really hot!
Oh well – these might not be authentic, but they were really good!
This is linked to Inspire Me Monday.