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Home style pork Carnitas with achiote rice



Carnitas, literally meaning "little meats" originated in the state of Michoacán. Carnitas is traditionally braised or simmered in its own fat, here we cover the meat until liquid runs dry and the pork starts to cook it is own fat. This recipe works particularly well with earthy achiote rice and an ideal one-pot celebratory dish. This recipe will have leftover carnitas, perfect for making carnitas tacos.


Making the carnitas 

  1. If there is skin on the shoulder, remove that any major lumps of fat, some fat is good so don’t over trim.
  2. Cut the meat into 4cm cubes. 
  3. Place them in a wide saucepan and cover with water by 1 cm. 
  4. Add the lime juice and salt. 
  5. Partially cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat, let simmer until the liquid has simmered away and it begins to fry in the remaining fat. This should take approx — 3 hours with a similar amount of meat.
  6. Then reduce the heat and remove the cover, stir the meat until browned and crisp in places. 
  7. Remove any big lumps of fat or gristle that present themselves. 
  8. Taste and season, it should be just right and very delicious.
  9.  Remove from the saucepan, leaving any oil behind and reserve.

While the carnitas is cooking 

  1. Put the rice in a sieve and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear, then still in the colander soak the rice in a bowl for 10 minutes. Drain thoroughly.
  2. Roast the jalapenos under the grill about 5 minutes on each side, cool covered with a tea towel, then peel, scrape out seeds and dice into 5mm pieces.
  3. Heat the broth with the Achiote Paste and salt in a small pan, use a stick blender to make into a smooth liquid if you need to.
  4. Place the same saucepan as you fried the carnitas over medium heat, add the onion and rice, stir cooking until the onion is sweet and translucent and the rice a little chalky looking, be careful not to break up. 
  5. Add the hot achiote stock to the pan along with the roasted chilli, carrots, and 350g of the carnitas 
  6. Stir once scrape down sides of the pan, so all the rice kernels are in the liquid. 
  7. Cook over low heat for 15 minutes, after which the rice should just be done but still with some bite, turn off heat add the peas, recover with a tea towel over the pot and under the lid, and leave to stand for 10 minutes.
  8. Fluff rice and put into a warmed serving dish, garnishing with chopped coriander.

Serve with a fresh green salad of lettuce and avocado.

Leftover carnitas

Carnitas Tacos