Pork, Tacos

Pork Carnitas!

Guess what day it is????????? Taco Tuesday!!  I wanted to share with you one of my favorite taco recipes, pork carnitas.  Please note that this is my take on pork carnitas and probably far from authentic but I love them.  I am a huge taco fan and I’ll tell you right now you’ll see a lot of taco dishes from me. I started making these tacos a few years back and I just love them.  In my book tacos are like their own food group just like bacon! LOL Maybe I’ll try the Taco Diet.  Is there such thing?  Haha! But really, I love making tacos.

So this is my pork carnitas recipe.  There is 2 ways you can make these pork carnitas. You can make them in the oven or in a pressure cooker.  I’ve done it both ways.  Check out the recipe below.

Pork Carnitas

Ingredients:

The pork:
3lbs -boneless pork shoulder, cut in bite size pieces
1T Oil
1/2 C Chicken Stock, no salt
2 Jalapeño , diced
1 large onion, cut in chunks or diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cilantro bunches, chopped
2 oranges, juiced and cut into chunks
2 limes, juiced
1 T onion powder
1 T garlic powder
1/2 T cumin
1 T chili powder
1 t salt
1 t pepper

Directions: In a large bowl mix all above ingredients together well. Cover and put in the refrigerator for 2 -3 hours.

To bake: Preheat oven 300°.  On a large cookie sheet lay out the pork mixture. Bake for 1.5- 2 hour turning every 30 minutes. Depending on the oven it may take longer to cook. Once completed turn on broiler and cook for 5-7 minutes. Turning once.  This will give a slight crispy texture to the pork. KEEP AN EYE ON IT or it will burn!  Feel free to omit that step.  I don’t use the broiler in my house often because it makes my dogs very upset. 🙂

To use a Pressure Cooker:  This step is a lot easier in my opinion and I feel like the meat comes out better.  Add the mixture to a pressure cooker and let it come up to pressure and cook 55-65 minutes on medium heat.  Make sure there is plenty of liquid in the pot as you don’t want it to burn off. (And it will happen)  Add extra orange juice and chicken stock.   Once done, remove from the heat and let come down to pressure.  (I prefer the pot that goes on the stove and doesn’t have a quick release. Maybe I’m old school! lol) Once you open the lid you should have perfectly tender meat smelling so amazing.

Once meat is cooked, give it one last mix and remove any big chunks of the orange pieces and then it’s ready for the tacos.

8-12 Tortillas (flour or corn) (Amount will vary)

Toppings:
Chopped Onion
Chopped Cilantro
Queso Fresco
Chopped Avocado
Cilantro Jalapeño Sauce (See Recipe Below)

Cilantro Jalapeño Sauce:

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 cup sour cream
1 cup lite mayonnaise (or regular)
1/2 cup pickled Jalapeños or 2 fresh
2 T lime juice
1/2 -3/4 powder Ranch packet
2 T milk or buttermilk
1/2 t salt

Directions: Add all items above to a food processor or a blender and mix till smooth.  You can add more of an ingredient to taste.  If you want it spicier add more jalapeños or less spicy use less jalapeños.

Notes: You can omit the milk if you’d like.  When I put on tacos I always try and thin the sauce out slightly.  I’ve had family make this with Greek yogurt and sour cream which still had a great taste.  I’ve made this less fat with light sour cream and mayonnaise it comes out just as well and is a little more guilt free.  It’s great on tacos and can be used as a dip if you omit the milk.  It will thicken up as it sits in the refrigerator.  If that happens you can add in some extra milk or lime juice.  It’s great on anything actually.  I’ve used it for a taco salad and used as the dressing.

To assemble tacos add meat to your warmed tortillas, add your preferred toppings and sauce. Then enjoy!!

Note: This will make plenty of meat. It’s great for left overs!

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