Fall Day Cooking

I love fall days.

I love the chill in the air first thing.

I love the crunch of the leaves when you are working in the yard.

I really love when it is finally chilly enough to break out my dutch oven to cook carnitas.

Carnitas del Julia

note to self.  remember to turn the oven all the way on before walking away.  otherwise you end up with no mas carnitas

Carnitas de Julia

I found this recipe on Mark’s Daily Apple.  I had been wanting to try for a couple weeks now.  The challenge with trying a new recipe is that you need to “watch” it to ensure it’s coming out okay.

Take 2-4 pounds of Pork Shoulder and cut into large chunks.  I did mine about 2x as large as normal “stew” meat.  Since I purchased the large cryo pack at Costco, I used the vacuum sealer and ended up freezing the other 1/2.Pork SholderNext, get your spices together & pre-heat the oven at 350 degrees

  • 1-2 tbs salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • lots of garlic
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leafs
  • 1 chopped yellow onion

mix the dry spices together.


Dry Spices

Place pork into roasting pan and mix thrououghly.  Because I am cooking with chili’s I use disposable rubber gloves to protect my hands.  Once the meat is well spiced, then add the garlic and mix again.

Finally, add the chopped onion, 2 bay leafs, and 1 cinnamon stick on top and cover with water nearly so the pork is just peaking over the top of the onions.

Spices & onions

Place into the oven and let the roasting begin.  Plan on setting your timer for 90 minutes and then pull the carnitas out and mix up with a heavy durable spoon.  At about this time mark, nearly 1/2 the water will have been cooked off/absorbed into the meat.  Place back in the oven to let the meat finishing cooking and get crispy.  After a minimum of 3.5 hours total cooking, your Carnitas will be nearly ready.  All the water should be gone, and the juice carmelization will be evident around the meat and the edges of the pan.

Remove from the oven, take out the bay leafs and cinnamon stick.  Then break up the meat into shredded pieces.  Let sit or serve immediately.  Sunday’s meal was finished off with corn tortillas (for the men- I had mine over salad), guacamole, salsa’s, lime and tequila.Carnitas

The carnitas will keep a couple days in the fridge.  Be sure to use the left overs up.  Eat cold over salad or heat up in a pan and cook with fresh eggs.