Carnitas, Carnitas, Carnitas!

by Kelli H. on December 14, 2013

This week I took some time off blogging. I can’t make myself post anything if I don’t have much to post or I don’t feel like posting. I’m not sure if/when I’ll give up blogging but some weeks posting something just doesn’t sound appealing and when that happens I don’t post. I like to follow my heart as you can tell.

I had a pretty good week sans blogging. I am still getting over this damn sickness, but it’s barely there anymore. It’s just sticking around with some congestion and my hearing seems to be affected — weird. It was also my mom’s birthday on Tuesday and my mom, my Aunt Shellie, and myself took Tuesday off work to go to the SF Ferry Building with my Nanny and Aunt Betty. We were originally going to have lunch at Hog Island Oyster’s, but it turned out to not be what we were expecting. We ended up eating at Boulevard and had such a great time! My mom got some great gifts too. Only bad part of the day was that we ended up getting in terrible traffic driving home. After the long drive we had dinner at Rosso’s with the family. I’d say the day was a success!

But before Tuesday and all that celebrating, last Sunday we had dinner up at my parent’s house. My dad and David watched the Niners beat the Seahawks, and my mom and I cooked dinner and baked cookies. It was a pretty fun day! I’d never made homemade carnitas before, but I was determined to try. Especially since I recently made pulled pork and it came out so delicious.

We served the carnitas over tiny little corn taco shells that we had warmed up in the oven with a green/cabbage salad and lots of diced up avocados that were mixed with lime. It was a simple salad but went so well with the tacos.

What I really love about these tacos are the toppings, which are about as simple as it can get. Diced up onion, cilantro, and enormous amounts of fresh lime. That’s all these tacos need! I also doused mine with some Cholula with garlic. I love that stuff! These tacos didn’t take much to prepare at all. I’d go as far as saying they were very easy to make! I’ll definitely be making them again in the near future. Probably the next time some friends come over for dinner. This isn’t a very holiday type of meal, but in my book tacos are always a good idea.

Pork Carnitas
Adapted from Cooking Classy

3 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed of fat and cut into fourths
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
3 tablespoons oil
1 yellow onion, cut in half and sliced into 1/2″ pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 cup chicken broth
2 oranges, 1 1/2 zested, and 1/2 cup juice
1 lime, zested and 2 tablespoons juice
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, depending on how much heat you can handle
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
corn tortillas, limes, onion, cilantro, hot sauce, for serving

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Place a Dutch oven on the stove over medium high heat. Salt and pepper the pork. Add oil to the pan and fry 2 pieces of the pork at a time until browned on all sides. Try not to move the meat around except for when you turn it. Repeat with remaining pieces. Set aside. Add in onion and saute until golden, about 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Reduce heat to medium low and add in the chicken broth, orange, and lime juice. Scape the bottom of the pan to loosen the browned bits. Add pork back to the pan. In a small bowl mix together chili powder, cumin, paprika, coriander, cayenne pepper, oregano, and cinnamon. Sprinkle the seasonings over the pork and broth. Sprinkle on the zest of the orange and lime evenly.

3. Transfer the uncovered Dutch oven to the oven and bake for 3-3 1/2 hours. Rotate the pork once at about 1 1/2 hours. Cover the Dutch oven at about 2 1/2 hours to reserve some of the liquid. You want about 1/2″ of liquid remaining. Check on the pork at 3 hours and if it’s falling apart with a fork you can take it out of the oven and shred it. If not, wait another 30 minutes. It should be very easy to shred with two forks. Mix the pork up with the remaining liquid and serve by placing the carnitas on a taco shell and topping with onion, cilantro, and lime juice.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah Cook December 15, 2013 at 11:01 pm

I’m glad to hear you are feeling better. I think it’s good that you listen to your heart and only blog when you feel up to it. I wish I could relax a little and do the same but I’m kind of obsessive about it. I really love cooking and creating meals but the photography part drives me nuts! I mean, I just want to eat the food, you know? Sigh…

Anyway, I just made a Mexican dish today so I can literally taste the cilantro and cumin in your recipe. SO good. 🙂


Made in Sonoma December 16, 2013 at 3:48 am

I love the cooking part so much too. That’s why sometimes it’s so fun to take a little extra time off blogging to just really enjoy the cooking part without having to stress over trying to capture the perfect shot. Though I enjoy blogging so much too! 🙂

Reply December 17, 2013 at 5:47 pm

I know what you mean about taking time off from blogging. Sometimes I’ll get an idea for a post and realize that it’s silly and not worth reading (or writing) I like to post when exciting things happen or when I have something to share – other than that it is hard to get the motivation to post. Also, I’m glad that you are getting over your sickness. Congestion is no fun in the nighttime but a bit more manageable during the day.


Anonymous January 10, 2014 at 6:50 pm

this is my favorite mexican dish, or one of them at least……. thank you kelli


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