The Functional Hermit

musings from a homebody

NFL Week 9 Menu: It’s carnitas time

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Bow down and worship the insane deliciousness that is carnitas. Salty. Spicy. Juicy. Citrusy. With a butter-knife-tender consistency that melts in your mouth and falls apart easier than Wade Phillips’ Dallas Cowboys. I’ve been tweaking this recipe since first trying it but this time I cut out an entire step that saved a huge amount of time and effort with zero downside. The list of ingredients was surprisingly short. Here’s what went into it this time:

3.75 pound pork butt, with fat trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes

2 tablespoons of seasoned salt

2 medium onions, quartered.

2 jalapeno peppers

1 bulb’s worth of garlic – about 8 cloves

1 cup of orange juice

1 teaspoon of liquid smoke

handful of cilantro

flour tortillas, lime wedges, diced red onion for serving

I started by cubing the pork. The bone of a boston butt is always a pain to trim around. One day I’m going to slice a finger open doing it but this time I didn’t draw any blood. There was more fat than usual on this butt so it took some effort. Once cubed, season the pork with the seasoned salt and mix well.


Previously, at this point I would heat some oil in my workhorse of a dutch oven and brown/sear the pork in batches. Then I’d deglaze the pan with the orange juice and go from there. I started wondering if this was really necessary so this time I held back, though sizzling meat in oil is always a fun way to kill some time.

So this time around I just went ahead and added the orange juice, jalapeno peppers, onions, liquid smoke, garlic and cilantro into the dutch oven and mixed well. Then just mixed in my raw, seasoned pork.

Then I put on the cover and stuck it into my preheated oven. I originally planned on cooking it for 4 hours at 300 degrees. But I got a bit gun shy and kicked it up to 325 degrees for the first 90 minutes. That ended up being unnecessary. Next time we’ll be keeping it at a steady 300. Here’s what it looked like at the four-hour mark.

My wife steamed up some flour tortillas so they were nice and soft. We just spooned a healthy amount into a tortilla, gave it a squeeze of lime and some red onions for texture. My tacos got a healthy dose of hot sauce, but my wife doesn’t roll that way. Sometimes she can be lame like that.

This dish never disappoints. If you ever make it for someone and they don’t like it I suggest seriously reconsidering your association with them.



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Written by the bee dub

November 8, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Posted in Hermit Grub

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