Carnitas with Spicy Pineapple Salsa

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Carnitas with Spicy Pineapple Salsa screams Cinco de Mayo! Carnitas, or “little meats”, will not disappoint. It is the perfect meat for tacos, nachos, or any Mexican dish.

Carnitas with Spicy Pineapple Salsa | Bites of Bri

It’s hard to believe that April is over. Where did that month go?! Even though it sometimes makes me sad that the days and months seem to pass by so quickly, the end of April means that Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner. That means…Fiesta! Margaritas! Carnitas!

Carnitas with Spicy Pineapple Salsa 5 | Bites of Bri

Mexican food is one of my favorites and even though many of our Mexican favorites are more American than Mexican, Carnitas is the real deal. Carnitas with Spicy Pineapple Salsa is a dish that will be perfect for your Cinco de Mayo celebration, whether you’re celebrating at home or throwing your own Mexican Fiesta.

Carnitas with Spicy Pineapple Salsa 4 | Bites of Bri

Pork and pineapple are such a classic flavor combination…Hawaiian pizza, kababs, and now…Carnitas with Spicy Pineapple Salsa. Perfect!

I made these Carnitas on the stove, but you could easily throw the seared pork in a slow cooker if you’re looking for an easier route during the day while you’re out and about.

Carnitas with Spicy Pineapple Salsa 2 | Bites of Bri

I used a pork loin for this recipe, which differs from standard carnitas made with a pork shoulder. Either will work, so it’s up to you.

Start by dicing the pork into 2-3” cubes. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Carnitas with Spicy Pineapple Salsa 20 | Bites of Bri

Add the olive oil to a heavy bottomed pot. Once hot, add the pork and sear on all sides. Don’t overcrowd the pan. If all of the pork doesn’t fit in one batch, simply do two batches.

Carnitas with Spicy Pineapple Salsa 19 | Bites of Bri

Once all of the pork is browned and seared, add the beer, water, lime juice, chili powder, and cumin.

Carnitas with Spicy Pineapple Salsa 18| Bites of Bri Carnitas with Spicy Pineapple Salsa 16 | Bites of Bri

The carnitas should be just covered with liquid. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Allow the carnitas to simmer for 2 hours covered.

Carnitas with Spicy Pineapple Salsa 15 | Bites of Bri

After 2 hours, bring the pot to a boil again and allow all of the liquid to evaporate by removing the lid. Once the liquid has evaporated, allow the pork fat to render and break down. You’ll need to turn the pork a few times to ensure that it gets crispy but doesn’t burn. Cook for an additional 30-40 minutes.

Carnitas with Spicy Pineapple Salsa 8 | Bites of Bri Carnitas with Spicy Pineapple Salsa 7 | Bites of Bri

Remove the pork and shred it using two forks. This should be pretty easy if you used a pork shoulder. It may be a little more challenging if you used a pork loin, but it should still shred.

Carnitas with Spicy Pineapple Salsa 6 | Bites of Bri

To make the salsa, dice a pineapple. Add the pineapple to a large bowl.

Carnitas with Spicy Pineapple Salsa 14 | Bites of Bri

Dice a purple onion and add this to the bowl.

Carnitas with Spicy Pineapple Salsa 13 | Bites of Bri

Remove the seeds and pith from the jalapeno. Dice it and add it to the bowl.

Carnitas with Spicy Pineapple Salsa 12 | Bites of Bri Carnitas with Spicy Pineapple Salsa 11 | Bites of Bri

Chop the cilantro and add it to the salsa with salt and pepper.

Carnitas with Spicy Pineapple Salsa 10 | Bites of Bri

You can either heat your tortillas in the oven in foil or you can use your gas stove to char each tortilla individually. I love charring the tortillas on the stove, but if you’re feeding a crowd, the oven is definitely an easier way to go.

To char the tortillas, turn the flame to low and toss a tortilla on top. Flip once golden and toast on the other side. Remove and set aside.

To assemble the tacos, add the warm carnitas, pineapple salsa, and chopped avocado to a tortilla. Add sour cream if desired.

Carnitas with Spicy Pineapple Salsa | Bites of Bri

Carnitas with Spicy Pineapple Salsa

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours

Yield: 4-6 servings of carnitas

Carnitas with Spicy Pineapple Salsa screams Cinco de Mayo! Carnitas, or "little meats", will not disappoint. It is the perfect meat for tacos, nachos, or any Mexican dish.

Ingredients

  • For the carnitas:
  • 2-3 lb pork shoulder or loin roast, cut into 2-3” cubes
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 12 oz beer (I used Corona because it seemed appropriate. A Lager would work too)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • For the salsa:
  • 1 pineapple, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cilantro
  • tortillas
  • avocado for topping
  • sour cream, optional

Instructions

  1. Start by dicing the pork into 2-3” cubes. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the olive oil to a heavy bottomed pot. Once hot, add the pork and sear on all sides. Don’t overcrowd the pan. If all of the pork doesn’t fit in one batch, simply do two batches.
  3. Once all of the pork is browned and seared, add the beer, lime juice, chili powder, and cumin. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
  4. Allow the carnitas to simmer covered for 2 hours.
  5. After 2 hours, bring the pot to a boil again, remove the lid, and allow all of the liquid to evaporate.
  6. Once the liquid has evaporated, allow the pork fat to render and break down. You’ll need to turn the pork a few times to ensure that it gets crispy but doesn’t burn. Cook for an additional 30-40 minutes.
  7. Remove the pork and shred it using two forks. This should be pretty easy if you used a pork shoulder. It may be a little more challenging if you used a pork loin, but it should still shred.
  8. To make the salsa, dice a pineapple. Add the pineapple to a large bowl.
  9. Dice a purple onion and add this to the bowl.
  10. Remove the seeds and pith from the jalapeno. Dice it and add it to the bowl.
  11. Chop the cilantro and add it to the salsa with salt and pepper.
  12. You can either heat your tortillas in the oven in foil or you can use your gas stove to char each tortilla individually. I love charring the tortillas on the stove, but if you’re feeding a crowd, the oven is definitely an easier way to go.
  13. To char the tortillas, turn the flame to low and toss a tortilla on top. Flip once golden and toast on the other side. Remove and set aside.
  14. To assemble the tacos, add the warm carnitas, pineapple salsa, and chopped avocado to a tortilla. Add sour cream if desired.

Notes

If you wanted to make this recipe in the slow cooker, simply add the ingredients to the slow cooker after searing the cubed pork. Cook for 8 hours on low. To make a less spicy salsa, simply omit the jalapeno.

http://bitesofbri.com/2014/04/carnitas-spicy-pineapple-salsa/

 

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