Healthy Carnitas Recipe

I ordered the pork family pack last week.  It fit in my  regular top of the fridge freezer as most packages were flat.  We defrosted the roast to eat over the weekend.  It was actually two shorter roasts in one package.  They did not have much bone on them and were easy to cut into 1″ cubes to make carnitas.  This is a braised or roasted pork roast in Mexican cuisine and it means “little meats” to describe the cubes.  The Mesa Top Farm pork stayed more in cubes than shredded pork, but it was tender and flavorful.  I also found a recipe using chicken broth instead of fried in lard.  Unbelievable that the healthier version tasted great and made a wonderful dinner and leftovers for tacos and breakfast burritos.  Enjoy.

Amy Hetager, CSA Blogger


Adapted from Sarah Moulton’s Everyday Family Dinners

2 pounds boneless pork shoulder (this was the quantity of the pork pack)

5 garlic cloves, diced

2 tsps dried oregano and thyme leaves (dried holds up better in this long-cooking dish)

1 bay leaf

1 tsp dried cumin

2 tsps to 1 tblsp red chile

kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

1-1/2 cups chicken stock

vegetable oil (if needed)

homemade corn tortillas

fresh tomatoes


pinto beans

1- Cut the port into 1-inch cubes.

2- Combine pork, garlic and spices into a deep heavy skillet.  I used an enameled cast iron pan with a lid.  Add the chicken stock and 1-1/2 cups water.

3- Bring mixture to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low and cover.  If your pot does not have a cover, use parchment paper or foil with a little hole in the middle to create a good environment for simmering.  I had a lid on the pot and gave it a little room to steam out.  Cook at a bare simmer for 2 hours.  Check a few times to make sure there is enough liquid to cover the pork.

4- Remove the cover and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated.  The pork should have cooked down in its own fat, but with this lean cut you may need to add a little vegetable oil.  I typically use almond oil.  Add in teaspoons and continue to cook until the meat is browned.  This took almost an hour.

5- Serve on homemade corn tortillas with your fresh CSA share tomatoes and some cilantro.


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