Hog Carnitas Recipe

Serving size

6

Time to make

5-6 hours

Ingredients

Hog Carnitas:
3 pounds of hog roast
1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
3/4 tsp. cumin
2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. ancho chili powder
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of dried ground cloves
1/2 yellow onion
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 lime
1/2 orange
1 jalapeño
2 cups unsalted venison, beef or chicken stock
Cooking oil, lard or duck fat

Fried Plantains:
Oil for frying
2 overripe plantains (dark yellow, not green)

Serving:
Corn or flour tortillas
Yellow onion, finely diced
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Salsa, cheese, jalapeños, lime wedges, etc.

Also works with

Turkey thighs, goose breast or thighs, venison roast, bear roast

How to make it

1

Carnitas:

  1. Mix the oregano, cumin, salt, chili powder, black pepper and cloves in a bowl. Sprinkle this dry rub over the hog roast; there should be plenty to cover 3 pounds of meat. You may not use all of the spices, so reserve leftovers for seasoning grains or vegetables. Let the meat rest in the rub before transferring to the slow cooker. If time allows, do this 24 hours in advance for best results.
  2. Cut the onion half in half again lengthwise while keeping the root intact so that you end up with two small wedges. Slice the lime and jalapeño in half lengthwise.
  3. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add enough oil to coat a thin layer at the bottom and, once hot, sear the meat on both sides. Set the roast on a cutting board and chop it into large chunks. Place the chopped meat inside a crock pot. Sear the onion, lime, orange and jalapeño wedges, cut side down. Gently sauté the garlic and add to the crockpot.
  4. Deglaze the sauté pan with the stock, scraping up the fond from the bottom. Pour the liquids into the crockpot. Set the heat to low and allow the ingredients to cook undisturbed for 4-6 hours or until fork tender but not completely shredding apart in liquids.
  5. Remove the chunks of meat from the crockpot and use two forks to shred into smaller pieces. Strain the solids from the juices in the crockpot and reserve. If it’s too salty, you can dilute with water.
  6. Heat the sauté pan again over high heat. Add another drizzle of oil and swirl to coat the pan. Once the pan is hot, add the shredded meat and quickly sear until crispy. This process should go very fast so you want to be careful not to overcook and dry out the meat. You can also use a broiler to crisp the edges of the meat instead of searing. To do so, spread the meat across a sheet tray and brush with a small layer of oil or fat and broil. Pour the reserved liquids over the shredded carnitas just before serving, or use it for cooking grains instead of water.
  7. Serve the pulled carnitas in warm tortillas with one to two slices of the fried plantains and toppings of your choice.

 

Fried Plantains:

  1. Peel off the outer layer of the plantains. If they are very ripe, they should peel like a banana. If they are still green, you will need to use a peeler. Slice the plantains diagonally ½-inch thick.
  2. Use the same sauté pan from the carnitas for frying the plantains. Set the heat to medium-high and add a layer of oil, enough to submerge the sliced plantains. Use oil with a high smoke point such as vegetable, peanut or coconut.
  3. When the oil is hot, lay down each plantain slice using tongs. Leave them alone until they reach a golden color. It takes a couple of minutes for this to happen, but once it does, it goes very fast and can burn quickly. Flip each slice and repeat on the other side. Work in batches until all the plantains are fried.
  4. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to blot excess oil.
  5. If your plantains are overripe, they will be naturally sweet. If they are green, you may want to sprinkle a small amount of brown sugar over the top. Serve inside the carnitas tacos.

Serving size

6

Time to make

5-6 hours

Ingredients

Hog Carnitas:
3 pounds of hog roast
1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
3/4 tsp. cumin
2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. ancho chili powder
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of dried ground cloves
1/2 yellow onion
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 lime
1/2 orange
1 jalapeño
2 cups unsalted venison, beef or chicken stock
Cooking oil, lard or duck fat

Fried Plantains:
Oil for frying
2 overripe plantains (dark yellow, not green)

Serving:
Corn or flour tortillas
Yellow onion, finely diced
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Salsa, cheese, jalapeños, lime wedges, etc.

Also works with

Turkey thighs, goose breast or thighs, venison roast, bear roast

Special equipment

Slow cooker, sauté pan or cast iron