A few times a year I, quite dramatically, crave pork carnitas. Carnitas are "little meats" in Spanish and the process is pretty much the same as making pulled pork with a pork butt. With carnitas you simply take the larger pork butt and cut it down into chunks or little meats. When I crave these, it's intense. As soon as I think of them, covered in foil slow cooking in my oven - I have to get to the store and buy my supplies.
Pork Carnitas Have Many Uses - Today I Give You Two of Them
My two favorite things to make with my delicious pork carnitas are sliders with barbeque sauce and, drumrollllll: TACOS!! You can probably tell I get a little more excited about the tacos. Pork tacos have so much more potential than beef tacos in my opinion. It feels like whatever I have on hand or randomly buy at the store, somehow works as a pork carnitas topping. With ground beef I feel limited: sour cream, tomato salsa, avocado. There are more uses for these crispy-on-the-outside, fork-tender little meats. You can make some beans and serve with rice. You could make a killer southwest-style frittata and serve for brunch. Pork carnitas quesadillas are an option with onions, cheese, beans and some kind of peach or mango salsa. I'm getting hungry for more tacos.
Seasoning Your Pork Butt is a Personal Choice
You are you and you know what flavors you like. Right? For me, the most basic jumping off point is salt, pepper, cumin and some kind of citrus. I usually go with either lime or orange. For this recipe I did orange since I like that version slightly better. There is another ground spice I like that you can sometimes find in the grocery store or that you may have to order an Amazon. It's Ras El Hanout. It's a Moroccan spice and can vary widely including such spices as: cumin, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, dry ginger and more. If you're already buying it anyway, know that you can use it again with my Moroccan-Spiced Phyllo Meat Pie. If you don't have it, can't find it at the grocery store or just don't want to spend the money, you can SKIP IT and simply add a little more cumin to this recipe. However, Ras El Hanout is really delicious and I highly recommend you give it a try.
Serve a Crowd With Pork Carnitas or Freeze Some for Later
Pork carnitas are an excellent option for a large gathering like a sporting event (Super Bowl), movie night, family gathering, brunch with friends. You get the idea. There will not be a speck of food left.
If you're making this for 2-4 people, you will have food for several days (great leftovers for lunches). You can also freeze the carnitas. When ready to use again simply defrost overnight in your refrigerator. I usually reheat them in a pan on low heat and covered with a splash of water. Tastes just as delicious as when you made them. When I made this batch for the video, I froze some and later made my Pork Carnitas Skillet Frittata with it - so keep that in mind too.
I hope you give this one a try. Gather your loved ones together and make a delicious meal. Share your stories, talk about how your day went, and hopefully laugh... a lot. Bust out the King's Hawaiian rolls for sliders or set up a fantastic taco bar with all the fixins'. Enjoy life and spread kindness out into the world.Print