Fresh From Nancy's Garden

A Fun Place For Gardening Tips and Great Recipes

It’s Cinco De Mayo–Let’s Have A Carnitas Party!

I love Cinco De Mayo! It’s the best excuse to eat lots and lots of great Mexican food–especially Carnitas! I know, cooking carnitas is a bit time-consuming, but you know it’s worth it after the first bite.
Years ago a butcher gave me this recipe and I’ve never found a better one. The carnitas is juicy, moist and extremely flavorful with just a bit of a crispy edge. That’s the secret–getting that bit of crunch, and I’ll tell you exactly how to make it. 
This dish is best served to a hungry crowd of good friends to celebrate Cinco De Mayo which is this Sunday! 
Don’t let the menu overwhelm you–have your friends bring the side dishes, but you deserve the glory for delivering the carnitas!
Just click on the name of the dish for a link to the recipes.
Signature cocktail:
  • Chips, Salsa and Guacamole
  • Grilled Shrimp–marinate in cilantro, lime & olive oil for 15 minutes
  • Goat Cheese Stuffed Jalapenos with a Balsamic Glaze
Carnitas & Toppings:
  • Shredded Cabbage
  • Green Onion
  • Chopped Tomato
  • Shredded Jack Cheese
  • Cilantro
  • Salsa
  • Sour Cream
  • Guacamole
  • Flour & Corn Tortillas
Rice seasoned with Herdez
Tres Leches Cake with Raspberries    
Carnitas Ingredients
  • 8-9 lbs. pork butt (it’s actually the shoulder)
  • olive oil, enough to coat bottom of pot
  • Emeril Seasoning
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 TBS. cumin
  • 1 onion, cut into 8 about pieces
  • 1 green pepper, cut into about 8 pieces
  • 1 red pepper, cut into about 8 pieces
  • 6-7 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 cups+ chicken broth
  • 3 cans Rotel chili & tomatoes
  • 2-15 oz. cans diced Mexican tomatoes
  • 2-8 oz. cans diced Anaheim chiles, drained
  • 2-3 whole Oranges
  • Sliced avocado
  • Sliced lime
Here are the simple steps to the best carnitas ever.
Heat oil in bottom of heavy bottomed pot. Generously season the meat with Emeril, salt, pepper and a little cumin. Brown and sear meat on all sides. This is a bit hard to do because the meat is very heavy. I used two large spatulas to turn it while it browned.

Add the garlic, onion, red and green peppers. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. 

Add the chicken broth, canned tomatoes, Rotel chile & tomatoes, green chiles. It should almost be covered with liquid. Cover with a foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 4 hours, or until the meat is fork tender.

Remove from the oven and let cool on top of the stove in the juices. Remove to a large rimmed cookie sheet and grab two forks–and pull the pork. Discard the bone and any fat. I used two cookie sheets.
It should look like this. Put a little of the juices from the pot on it. At this point you can cover it with foil and keep in a warm oven until you’re ready to eat or you can go to the last step–the secret. Squeeze fresh orange juice on the meat and put under the hot broiler for about 5 minutes a side, or until it’s just a little crispy on the edges. Transfer to a large platter, garnish with lime and avocado. 
Here’s the step by step guide to get the party started.
Put out the appetizers–chips, salsa and guacamole. You can cook the shrimp in advance–it’s good at room temperature.
Get the cocktails ready. I made a pitcher of the Chile-Lime Margaritas…they were very strong–so we mixed a little Soda Water with them.
Here’s the star of the show! Notice the crispy edges.
These tortillas were a huge hit. Again, I have a butcher to thank. I bought the pork butt at Bristol Farms and that butcher suggested this brand. I don’t know if they sell them everywhere, but if you can find them, they’re the best.
I cooked them in a really hot cast iron skillet in advance, then covered them with foil and kept them on the counter. When we were ready to eat, I re-heated them in the microwave–and everyone loved them.  

Now you’re ready to begin the feast. 

And even after all that we found room for this Tres Leches Cake. I loved the cake. I never made one before and was a bit worried, but it was great. 

Even if you don’t make all of this, try just the carnitas or the cake…you’ll be glad you did!

Exciting news this week–new readers. I want to welcome my newest followers in Bahrain, Portugal and Trinidad & Tobago. Read all about Laguna Beach at Stu News.

Categories: Cinco de Mayo, Holidays, Pork

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