homemade carnitas

When my sister and I were little and living in southern California, my parents would take us on annual summer trips to San Diego.  My parents apparently thought it was hilarious to trick my sister and me into believing that San Diego was Hawaii {at some point, probably later than we should have, we figured out that Hawaii was an island and couldn’t be reached via the 5 Freeway}.  One of our favorite places to visit in San Diego was Old Town, particularly the Old Town Mexican Cafe.  Due to its popularity, there was inevitably a wait to be seated, but the wait never seemed to bother my normally impatient sister and me because, through the front window of the restaurant, we would voyeuristically watch women methodically make tortillas by hand.

Without fail, we would order the carnitas, family style, with cilantro, onions, avocados and of course, those handmade tortillas.  The carnitas were amazingly delicious – succulent, juicy pieces of pork studded with crisp, almost jerky-like bits.  They have set the bar for me in terms of what carnitas should be.  After spending some time researching recipes, I decided on this one – I love that the pork shoulder is transformed in one pot over the stove – first the pork simmers over a low heat for a few hours, and then the heat is turned up until all the liquid boils away and the pork is left to fry to a dark brown in its own fat.  Perfection.

Recipe continued after the jump…

Note: I adapted the recipe slightly by using thyme instead of marjoram {as I had thyme on hand} and added a dried thai chili to the cheesecloth spice bag.

Thank you for reading!

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4 Responses to homemade carnitas

  1. trialsinfood says:

    Yum! Sounds fantastic, looks delicious!

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Thank you! It actually was far easier than I could have ever imagined, and very affordable! I love it when simple, inexpensive ingredients come together to create something so yummy!

  2. Howard Nuk says:

    It was one of the best carnitas I had ever tried – so flavorful, such a wonderful mix of textures, and a little too easy to eat 😉

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