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S.F. Chronicle's Tacos de Carnitas - Printable Version

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S.F. Chronicle's Tacos de Carnitas - cjs - 10-30-2006

I apologize for not remembering who posted the website for the S.F. Chron top recipes a couple weeks ago... piano? pj? shoot - anyway, I made the Tacos de Carnitas last nite. (I know I must have been Mexican in another life the way I have to have my Mexican food 'fix' every week or so!)

This is a great carnitas recipe, but I did have some beef chunks I wanted to use up so used that instead of pork. And I didn't have any oranges ( ) but I made it anyway and loved it.

Top Recipe 2001: Tacos de Carnitas

4 1/2 pounds pork butt
6 cups water
7 strips orange zest
6 garlic cloves -- minced
1 1/2 onions -- diced
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cinnamon sticks -- preferably Mexican (see Note)
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano leaves -- crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt + salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
24 small corn tortillas -- warmed
Chopped cilantro
Finely chopped onion
Fresh salsa verde or hot sauce

INSTRUCTIONS: Trim any thick fat from the outside of the pork butt. Cut the meat into 1-inch cubes. Discard any cubes that are pure fat, but don't try to trim all of the fat out of the meat.
Put the pork in a large pot. Add the water, orange zest, garlic, onion, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, bay leaves, oregano, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and cloves. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Skim off any scum that forms on the surface. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours, until the pork is very soft, adding more water if necessary to keep the meat submerged. Season with salt. Bring to a gentle boil and cook until the water has evaporated about 30 minutes. Cook a little longer to fry the meat slightly. (Note: if you want extra-crispy carnitas, fry approximately 25 minutes.) Watch carefully to prevent burning.

Remove the bay leaves and cinnamon sticks. Put the meat in a fine strainer and push gently with a wooden spoon to remove any excess fat. Discard the fat.

Fold a few tablespoons of carnitas inside each tortilla and top each taco with cilantro, onion and salsa.

Note: Mexican cinnamon (canela) is found at Latin American markets.
Serves 12

This recipe from staff writer Tara Duggan was an across-the-board favorite of our tasters. This is perfect casual party fare; sure to please the Sunday sports crowd, or the kids coming home from college with a houseful of friends in tow. "This is one of the best recipes we've run in the 10 years I've worked here," said Food Editor Miriam Morgan. Duggan started working for The Chronicle in 1999 and writes the Working Cook column and is the author of "The Working Cook" (The San Francisco Chronicle Press).


So, who ever did post that site - thanks, I think I saved 5 or 6 of the recipes to try.

Re: S.F. Chronicle's Tacos de Carnitas - Bizymomma - 10-30-2006

This sounds very similiar to the one I fix...mine calls for orange juice. I love carnitas!! Yummy!

Re: S.F. Chronicle's Tacos de Carnitas - dollop - 10-30-2006

I posted...I've really enjoyed that site! I'm glad you are enjoying the recipes! I am, too!

Re: S.F. Chronicle's Tacos de Carnitas - cjs - 10-31-2006

Dollop!! Thank you - it really does have some good ideas there!