A Wicked Scoff...Recipes and Food with Newfoundland and New England Influences.

This blog is dedicated to bring recipes, photographs, anecdotes, reviews and other insights on everything food related. As the name suggests, "A Wicked Scoff" will have a regional flare, a fusion if you will, of both Newfoundland and New England perspectives of the culinary world around me. Thanks for visiting and please come back often as updates will be frequent. Oh yeah, I also like tasting and cooking with regional beers. Expect a beer of the month, often paired with recipes.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Weeknight Pork Carnitas

Mexican pork carnitas are traditionally made with a slowly braised pork roast. The fatty, but wonderfully tasty pork but roasts are heavily seasoned with herbs and spices and the slow cooking breaks down the meat so it becomes very tender. My adaptation for a weeknight version of pork carnitas uses leftover grilled pork tenderloin. While pork tenderloin is very lean, it is also quite tender, so it works very well in this recipe. Since it's already cooked through, all it takes to get to the final product is to cut the pork into small cubes, season well with spices, and saute over a high heat with onions and pepper. Served the traditional way in warm flour tortillas with chopped cilantro, homemade fire roasted salsa, some grated pepper jack cheese and a squeeze of fresh lime and you'll think you're in Mexico in the middle of a busy work week. Here's how I put these carnitas together.

Pork (Tenderloin) Carnitas

  • 1 cooked pork tenderloin, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
  •  chili powder, cumin, chipotle powder, garlic powder, oregano, black pepper...about 1 Tbsp total
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 a green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced fine
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • chopped cilantro
  • juice and zest of half a lime

Directions: Heat the oil in a large skillet (cast iron would work great here) over a medium high heat. Add the onions and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until they soften. Add the jalapeno and the diced pork and toss with the vegetables in the oil and begin to brown the meat. Once the meat begins to pick up some color add a few god shakes of the spices (or use about a tablespoon of southwestern seasoning). Toss or stir the pork and vegetables well so that the mixture is well coated with the seasoning. Continue to cook until the onion and peppers have caramelized and the pork has browned. At the end add the lime juice, zest, cilantro and season with a little salt to taste.

While the pork and vegetable are cooking, prepare the toppings and warm your tortillas. I like to assemble mine by laying down a warm flour tortilla, spooning on some of the pork and vegetable mixture, followed by some grated pepper jack cheese, salsa, chopped cilantro, a squeeze of lime and some good Mexican hot sauce.

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