Pork Carnitas Tacos with Salsa Verde and Pico De Gallo

Pork Carnitas

Happy Cinco De Mayo! Celebrate May 5th with Pork Carnitas, Salsa Verde and Pico De Gallo that is perfect for your Healthy Mexican Fiesta.

This Pork Carnitas recipe works perfectly in tacos. Let the pork cook for a few hours in the oven with yummy aromatics like oranges, bay leaves, lime juice, cumin, and oregano. The result is pork that absorbs all that flavor and then is browned under the broiler for that crispy texture.

Pork CarnitasPork Carnitas

I also served this pork with a Salsa Verde that was inspired by a Mexican Restaurant that I frequently visit. They serve this green salsa on the table so you can add it to your dishes as you please. Salsa Verde is green and just uses tomatillo tomatoes to give it the green color along with fresh cilantro and jalapeno to adds some heat! I grilled the ingredients to add a nice smoky flavor.

Healthy Salsa Verde Salsa Verde

Pico De GalloTo add some freshness you can make my Pico De Gallo which helps brighten up your Pork Carnitas Taco! This Pico De Gallo is basically just roma tomates, red onion, cilantro, and jalapeno which can be added to any of your favorite proteins.

You can also use this pork recipe for a Mexican Salad Bowl by putting the Pork Carnitas on top of a greens and adding the Salsa Verde, Pico De Gallo, Avocado, and whatever add-ins you like!

Pico De Gallo

Here’s How to Make the Photos Above:

Ingredients:

Corn Tortillas

For the Pork Carnitas:

1 4-5 pound bone in or boneless pork butt, fat trimmed and cut into 2 inch cubes
1 onion, peeled and halved
1 orange juice and peel
juice of 1 lime (throwout the peel)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups of water

For the Salsa Verde:
4-5 tomatillos (outer layer removed and rinsed)
1 jalapeno (this adds heat unless you remove the seeds)
1 medium onion peeled and sliced in half
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 cup of packed cilantro, 2 cloves of garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste

For the Pico De Gallo
4-5 Roma Tomates
1 Small Red Onion
1/2 a Jalapeno, seeds removed
2 cups of chopped cilantro
1 lime
Salt and Pepper to taste

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a dutch oven or large pot that can go in the oven place the cubed pork, and all the other ingredients in the pot. Heat on burner over medium-high heat until the pork mixture begins to simmer. Cover and move to oven for 2 hours or until pork is tender enough to be pulled with fork. *If you bought a bone in pork butt and cut it off the bone put the bone in the pot also to add flavor*
  2. While pork is cooking heat grill over high heat and place the tomatillos, jalapeno, and onion on the grill. Let grill until they become blistered and slightly blackened. Put right into a blender with cilantro, 1 teaspoon cumin, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 cup of water. Move to a serving bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Next make the Pico De Gallo by dicing the roma tomatoes into small uniform pieces (remove some of the tomato seeds if it has a lot), the red onion the same size, half a seeded jalapeno, and finally fold in the chopped cilantro. Add the lime juice, salt and pepper. Put to the side.
  4. Remove pork from oven and use a slotted spoon to move pork to a cutting board. Remove the orange peel, onion and bay leaf into garbage. When just the cooking broth is left heat over high heat to a rapid boil until the liquid has reduced by half and become syrupy (20-30 minutes).
  5. While sauce is reducing shred meat if the pieces are still big and spread out evenly on a baking sheet. Heat broiler to high and place rack in the middle of the oven. Spoon the reduced sauce evenly over the meat and toss to evenly coat. Flatten the meat out.
  6. Put under broiler for 5-7 minutes until the meat becomes browned. Remove from oven and flip the pork carnitas over, broil for another 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven.
  7. Warm taco shells in the oven while the meat is broiling and assemble taco with the salsa verde and Pico De Gallo!

It may seem like a lot of steps for the pork but it is so worth it! Do not skip boiling the liquid that the pork cooked in to pour over before you broil it. And definitely do not skip broiling the meat to get the crispy texture.

Enjoy your Cinco De Mayo with Pork Carnitas Tacos 

The Pork Carnitas recipe is from Pinterest and was originally posted on MyKitchenEsapades.com 

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The Best Pulled Pork Recipe Ever

Tasty and Tender Pulled Pork 

dry rub pulled pork

Pulled Pork can be used in many different recipes. I made pulled pork sliders with greek yogurt coleslaw, pulled pork quesidlla, salad, and even grilled cheese! I love the versatility of the leftovers. This was so good that after waiting all day all I wanted to do was eat it – and neglected to take good pictures :0

Finding proteins like this that can be cooked in a slow cooker and left alone all day and then used for several different meals is the best thing ever. I love having leftovers and being able to transform them into other meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner! I did my research on pulled pork and how to make it and combined a few things I saw online to create the ultimate BEST EVER pulled pork recipe.

pulled pork

What makes this the best ever pulled pork recipe? Well, for one the pork shoulder gets a dry rub the night before it gets cooked and is left to absorb all those delicious flavors from the homemade rub. This recipe also uses a slow cooker which keeps it cooking all day long, about 8 hours. Leaving you with a moist no fuss pulled pork that everybody will love! My Best Ever pulled pork sits and cooks on a bed of onions and garlic and absorbs the flavors of chicken broth and it’s dry rub that you can serve with your favorite bbq sauce.

What you need for Best Ever Pulled Pork:

1 (4 to 5 pound) bone in or boneless pork shoulder ( I used bone in)

  • 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 onions sliced thin
  • 4 garlic cloves sliced thin
  • 1 cup of low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups favorite bbq sauce

What to do:

  1. Begin the night before you are going to cook the pork. Make the dry rub by combining: 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar, 2 tablespoon chili powder, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more as needed, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper. Pat the pork shoulder dry with paper towel and place the pork in a large mixing bowl. Pat the dry rub all over the pork until it is completely covered. Wrap the pork in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.
    dry rub pulled pork
  2. The next morning take the pork out of the refrigerator and prepare the slow cooker by placing the sliced onions at the bottom of the slow cooker pot. Sprinkle in the garlic and pour stock on top. Take the pork out of the plastic wrap and place on top of the onion mixture. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or high 6 to 8 hours.
    dry rub pulled pork
  3. Let the pork do it’s thing it probably won’t start to looked cook until like the 5th or 6th hour. Once its tender and falling off the bone remove the pork carefully from the slow cooker and shred with 2 forks on a cutting board (watch out if there is a bone). Pour out some of the fat that is still in the slow cooker leaving a little layer and put the pork back in the slow cooker with the onions to keep it warm.
  4. Use your favorite BBQ sauce or doctor up a bottled BBQ sauce by pouring 1 bottle into a sauce pan with a tablespoon of brown sugar, half a cup of ketchup, half a cup of apple wine vinegar, and some orange juice. Let it simmer and the flavors come together.
  5. Serve your pulled pork on sliders with your favorite coleslaw. Make your own lighter version by whisking together greek yogurt, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper, and fresh chopped cilantro. Pour over your favorite bag of cabbage and serve on top of pulled pork slider.You can even do with out the bun – because it is that good and just serve it with a salad or the coleslaw.

Herb Crusted Pork Loin

Juicy Herb Crusted Pork Loin loaded with herbs!

porkloin

Pork loin is so easy to put together quickly and if made correctly can be really satisfying. The main complaint people have with pork loin is that it is dried out and not juicy. This is probably because you are over cooking it. Yes, it is pork but that does not mean you have to cook it until there is no juice left!

I still have my thyme and rosemary from my garden so this recipe is loaded with fresh herbs and some dried ones. You could use either however dried herbs I feel can be more potent so I tend to use both.

With Thanksgiving around the corner this could be an excellent option as an additional meat to serve if you have some guests that do not like turkey or you want to give your guests options. It is tasty and goes perfectly with all the flavors of Thanksgiving. (Mashed Potatoes and Cranberry Sauce)

Here’s what you need:

  • about 1.3 pound pork loin
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 3 tablespoons rosemary or 1 tsp of dried rosemary
  • fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 10 cranks of fresh cracked black pepper
  •  1/2 tsp of salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Use a food processor to combine the garlic, basil, rosemary, thyme, black pepper, salt and olive oil into a rub to go on the pork.
  2. Place pork on a baking sheet lined with foil and rub the herb mixture all over the pork like a crust and make sure to get underneath.
    porkloin
  3. Roast for about 35-45 minutes. This pork loin only took 35 minutes and then was tented for 10 minutes before serving and slicing.Enjoy!

Chelsea Market, NYC Bites

Chelsea Market, NYC – Los Tacos No.1

tacosCarne Asada

I visited Chelsea Market for the first time in December. It was Christmas and everything was lit up with lights. For someone who loves food it has so many delicious options! The market is filled with fresh fish, cheeses, wine, lunch bites, restaurant supplies, and places to eat – not to mention Food Network has an office upstairs.

If you are visiting NYC and you love to eat you must visit Chelsea Market. Chelsea is an area of NYC that I have really come to love. The market is surrounded by other little cafes that have outdoor seating on the streets as well as indoor. You can also find shopping on the streets around the market. Inside of Chelsea market besides food and beverages you can find a large room filled with pop-up shop vendors from all around NYC, including many from Brooklyn. They had beautiful hand crafted art, jewlery, and clothing.

On my last trip we found a taco place that did not have any seating and was just a counter but the line was so long. We decided we would try a bit of everything and waited on line at Los Tacos No. 1.

lostacono1They were delicious and very authentic. It was worth the wait. So this time when we went back in the Spring the first place we went was the Taco line. Here’s what we ordered: 2 carne asada tacos 2 pork tacos They were delicious. Last time I tried chicken as well but the carne asada has to be my favorite. If you are visiting go check this place out.

pork taco

 Adobada – marinated pork taco

For desert we ventured around deciding between a few bakeries, a popsicle shop, and a donuts. Of course we decided to go with the donuts. But this isn’t your average Dunkin Donut, Donut, these were smaller and made fresh right in front of you.  The donut shop is called Doughnuttery. As you waited to order you could see the lady skillfully making each donut.

doughnuteryYou could also choose from a menu of different topping sugars to go on your donut. Pumpkin, cocoa, anything you can think of… We got 6 because we did not want to carry any extra around. 3 cinnamon sugar and 3 smoked cocoa with sea salt.

donutsThere were so many good places to choose from it was hard to decide. Soemthing for everyone.. vegetable sushi, juices, crepes, chinese food, farm to table, asian, tacos, bakery, fresh brewed coffee, fish, thai food, gelato, and so much more.

Chelsea Market is perfect if you love to try new foods. However, it can be a bit crowded and mainly with tourist familes. Once you can get around everyone standing around taking pictures it is really nice. Your probably better off going on a weekday.

Love it!

xoxo Hunter