Smoked Carnitas

To begin, you'll need a 7-8lb boston butt pork roast, AKA a pork shoulder roast. Cut slits diagonally across the fat cap.

INITIAL PREPARATION

Seasoning:

  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Garlic

Marinade:

  • 32oz Orange Juice
  • 5 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce (about ½ small can)
  • 1 Orange quartered
  • Juice from 2 limes
  • 1 Onion quartered
  1. Place the Pork Butt on a large platter and season all sides with salt, pepper, and garlic. For a simple ratio use 1 part salt, ½ part granulated garlic, and ¼ part ground black pepper.
  2. Make sure to sit the pork butt fat side up. You should see the score marks in the fat cap. Chop the Chipotle Peppers and spread over the top. Be sure to get it into the crevasses created by scoring.
  3. Next you’ll need something big enough to hold the pork butt and the marinade like a 2 ½ gallon zip-lock bag, or a turkey brining bag. The pork butt goes into the bag and then the orange juice, the lime juice, and the onions
  4. Remove as much air from of the bag as possible so that the pork butt is completely covered with marinade and refrigerate overnight, or from 12 to 24 hours.

CARNITAS 

After 12 to 24 hours, remove the pork from the marinade. Discard liquid and dry pork with paper towels.

Seasonings

  • Ground Cumin
  • Ground Chipotle Powder
  • Ancho Chili Powder
  • Cinnamon 

Directions:

  1. Just eyeball each ingredient and season all sides of the pork.
  2. Heat smoker to 275-300º F using hardwood and briquettes
  3. When the temperature is good, center the pork on the cooking grate and close the lid. Keep a close eye on the temperature of the grill and adjust the fuel or air as needed. About 4 hours should provide a good bark to the pork.
  4. Check the roast after about 4 hours - it should have some good dark color and a crust. Remove from smoker and place in a deep aluminum roasting pan and prepare for braising. 

BRAISING THE CARNITAS

  • Preheat oven to 275º F and prepare Braising Mix

Braising Mix

  • 32oz Tomato Juice
  • 16oz Orange Juice
  • 1 Onion quartered
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic smashed
  • 2-3 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Guajillo Peppers (dried)
  • 2 Limes quartered

Directions:

  1. Pour the juices into the pan.  Add the onions, garlic, bay leves, peppers, and limes. 
  2. Insert temperature probe and set it for 200º F. 
  3. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake in oven at 275º F until temperature is reached, 3 to 4 hours.
  4. Remove pan from oven and let meat rest for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Remove pork to a platter
  6. Reserve the liquid for reheating carnitas - strain and let cool, then skim fat and refrigerate
  7. Shred the pork using two forks to your liking. 

ACCOMPANIMENTS

  • Thinly sliced radish
  • Sliced avocado 
  • Lime 

Chipotle Cream Sauce

  • 12oz Greek yogurt
  • 4 - 5 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (chopped)
  • 1/2 Fresh Lime (juice only)
  • 1/2 Tsp ground cumin
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Mix this sauce and allow to rest in the refrigerator for an hour.


Based on recipe by Malcom Reed