The Crooked Ladle
Carnitas Burritos...The Tex-Mex Way
Carnitas Burritos - Authentic Carnitas Embellished with Barbecue Sauce
Twice Cooked Carnitas Burritos
My mouth begins to water when I begin pulling the pork/slicing process of the cooked pork roast because I know from experience that I'm about to sneak a taste of this wonderfully moist and tender meat. Once you fill the tortilla and brown the burrito, it might look like a typical burrito on the outside, but it's so much more on the inside. Because pork shoulder is an economical cut of meat, I'm always surprised how the carnitas taste so yummy with that crusty outer cooked layer and delicious moist taste. While I choose to cook the roast slowly in the oven, as an alternative, you can use a slow cooker or pressure cooker. I prefer using the oven because it's the best way to get the wonderful crispy outer crust.
Serves: 4 - 6
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Combined Cook Time: 3 hours
· 2 large skillets or one skillet and a Dutch oven
. Baking dish at least 9 x 9 inches or larger
. Cutting board
. Sharp knife
. Very small bowl or ramekin (for spices)
. Measuring spoons
. Chopping/slicing knife
. Wooden spoon
. Pastry brush
. Aluminum foil
. 3-3.5 pounds boneless pork shoulder, aka: pork butt
. 4-6 flour tortillas (for gluten free, use GF tortillas)
. One bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce (about a half cup or desired amount to personal taste) [I like Sweet Baby Rays but understand that barbecue
sauce is a personal taste]
. ¼ cup plus one tablespoon - canola oil
. ½ cup yellow onion, chopped well
. ½ teaspoon garlic powder
. ½ teaspoon onion powder
. ½ teaspoon chili powder or chipotle powder
. ½ paprika
. 1 large peeled garlic clove chopped well equivalent to 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
. Salt and pepper to taste
Garnish: Salsa, guacamole, sour cream, hot sauce
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
1. Trim the pork roast of most of its fat but not all of the fat. Leave about ten percent on the pork shoulder which will create necessary juices.
2. Season the roast with salt and pepper around the entire roast. Then, combine all of the other spices into a very small bowl or ramekin and mix. Rub these spices all around the roast.
3. Heat ¼ cup oil in a large skillet on medium-low heat. Brown all sides of the roast which should take about ten minutes. Save the oil in the skillet as this skillet will be used in step 6 below.
4. Transfer the roast into a casserole dish lined with aluminum foil. As an alternative, you can use an unlined Dutch oven.
5. Bake for 2.5 hours. After the first 30 minutes, begin basting the roast with a pastry brush with its own juices found in the bottom of the casserole. Continue basting every 20 minutes until done and the meat is tender.
6. No earlier than an hour before the pork is done, chop the onion and garlic well and sauté on medium-low heat in the same skillet in which the pork was browned. Sauté until these vegetables are slightly translucent which should take about ten minutes. Let these vegetables rest in the skillet in preparation for step 8 below.
7. When the roast is done, let it rest in the casserole dish for at least ten minutes before slicing. Then slice the roast into one-inch-thick slices and spread the slices about the dish to allow the meat pieces to cool. Let cool for 10-15 minutes. Then with your clean hands, shred the pork pieces to no longer than 1 ½ inches or so.
8. With tongs, add about 2 ½ cups of the shredded pork pieces back into the original skillet containing the sautéed vegetables. No need to cook, just stir to combine well.
Note: I usually have left over pork with which I typically make fried rice on another day.
To assemble the burrito, lay a large tortilla flat on a cutting board or plate. Add a sufficient amount of pork pieces in the center of the tortilla. On top of the meat, add your desired amount of your favorite barbecue sauce. Then top the meat and sauce with a generous amount of the shredded cheese.
10. Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet on medium-low heat and distribute the oil well around the pan. Fold-in the filled tortilla on both sides rather snuggly but not tight and place the sealed side down into the hot oiled skillet. Lightly brown the tortilla on both sides. I cook two at a time.
Note: If you need to reheat burritos that may have cooled while you are finishing off cooking the group of tortillas, you can warm them in the microwave for a minute or two or place them all in a casserole and place in the oven at 350 degrees for ten minutes.
11. Plate and serve with some or all of the following accompaniments: guacamole, sour cream, salsa, hot sauce.
The Crooked Ladle
Savor the taste