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Homemade Carnitas


Pork Loin (cut into 3/4 inch chunks)
2-3 Pounds
Fresh tomatillos (we have used canned and works out well)
1 Pounds
Pablano peppers (stemmed/halved)
Serrano peppers (stemmed/halved)
Fresh jalapeno (stemmed/halved)
Small Onion cut into chunks
Garlic cloves, peeled/smashed
Fresh Cilantro
1/2 Cups
Dried Oregano
1 Teaspoons
Ground Cumin
1 Teaspoons
Ground Coriander
1/2 Teaspoons
Chipotle Chili Powder
1/2 Teaspoons
Ground Allspice
1/4 Teaspoons
Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons
Coarse salt
1 1/2 Teaspoons
Fresh Lime Juice
1 Tablespoons

Preparation mode:

Since my wife and I have been married (almost 20 years now), I have slowly introduced her to spicier foods.  When I met her, Taco Bell mild sauce was about the extent of her heat levels.  Throughout the years we would go to different Mexican restaurants and we would amp it up a bit with different salsas and bean dips.  Depending on the restaurants, each offer a different version of these with the unlimited tortilla chips we consume.  Finally, she is near the level of heat I desire and we can enjoy making our own versions of Mexican foods and share them with everybody.

This recipe is one that we found in an old Men’s Health magazine and modified it a bit for our tastes. They call it a Four-Alarm Green Chili with Pork.  We call it Carnitas.  I wish we could take full credit on it because it is so delicious.  Regardless, it’s worthy of sharing.

In this recipe we use a pressure cooker which is different than the original recipe.  Another thing that is different is I use a pork loin or lean pork chops instead of a pork shoulder which makes it less fatty.  I cut up the loin into about ¾ inch squares and brown them.  While browning the meat, I remove the tomatillo husks and clean them well.  They tend to be a bit sticky from the husks but the cleanup easy.   I bring a pot of water to boil and place the tomatillos in the pot and bring it back to a boil.  I let it boil for about 5 mins until they are softer.

Now for the peppers!  I remove the stems and lightly chop the poblanos, serranos, and fresh jalapenos and put them in the chopper (we use a large Ninja mixer/chopper).  I do the same with the onion, cilantro, lime juice and garlic and then add all the spices and water.  Pulse it until the mixture looks like a fine salsa verde.

Once everything is ready, I pour it all in the pressure cooker and set it for 1 hour.  This recipe is perfect over rice.  Check out our cilantro lime rice recipe here that we always use for this recipe.  We prepare the rice while the rest is cooking.  After the pressure cooker timer goes off, I wait about 5 minutes for a little pressure to release and then I slowly and carefully release some more pressure.  You should take around 5 minutes to completely release all pressure.

Remove the lid and stir.  Put some of the delicious rice in a bowl and scoop the carnitas on the rice.  We tend to add a sprinkle of cotija cheese, a little avocado and some sour cream on top or we just eat it by itself.  It’s that good.

This recipe has some heat but not too much.  The tangy combination of the peppers with the tender pork chunks and the rice makes my mouth water just thinking about it.  While it has peppers, it does not taste like bell peppers.  My wife despises them but loves this recipe.  If you love Mexican food, give this beautiful recipe a try.  You won’t regret it!