Carnitas are the pulled pork of Latin food. They are very easy to make. You can dress them like your favorite tacos or burritos. They’re perfect for a Sunday dinner or a busy day.
Most of the members of our family can’t eat tomatoes with pleasant results, so we like avocado, cilantro, lettuce, and refried beans on our carnitas. You’re also welcome to add a little chile or cayenne to your spices if your family prefers, but we like ours just fine this way.
I doubled the recipe today so I would have enough meat and broth for a soup later this week. The roast I used is from tamale meat I found on sale near Christmas.
This time I also tossed in three cubes of frozen recaito from when I made pasteles. It added nice flavors to the meat, but the recipe below is how I’ve been making carnitas for years. It will be great with or without recaito.
Brown Rice Tortillas
lettuce, avocado, cilantro, tomato, and/or salsa
Refried Beans (I made ours today with pink beans. You can most likely find them in the Latin food section of your grocery store either canned or dry, but a Latin grocery store would be an even better source.)
2-pounds pork roast (Bones are okay; they are easy to remove after cooking.)
3-4 tsp salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
3 bay leaves or 1/4 cup recaito
3 cups chicken broth (I used leftover frozen broth from making tamales and pasteles)
Trim fat from meat. Cut meat into 2” pieces. Sprinkle meat generously with salt. Place meat in a slow cooker.
Add herbs and spices to the slow cooker and pour broth over mixture.
Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8-10 hours.
Using a slotted spoon, remove meat from slow cooker. Save broth for soup later this week. When cool enough to handle, coarsely shred meat by pulling two forks through it in opposite directions; discard any fat.
Serve with tortillas and top with your choice of vegetables and salsa.