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Carnitas Calientes

Monday, 26 May 2008


Carnitas are "little pieces of meat," usually pork, that are often served as a breakfast side dish in Mexico or wrapped in a tortilla and eaten as a burrito or soft taco. In addition I also like to serve them as an appetizer with a selection of salsas for dipping. Carnitas are an example of how a dry rub marinade can form a tasty crust on the meat, while the inside remains tender and moist.


At a glance
Cooking Method
Heat Level
Appetizer/Hors d'oeuvre
  • 3 tablespoons ground ancho chile

  • 1 tablespoon ground chipotle chile

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds boneless pork, trimmed of the fat and cut into 1-inch cubes.

For the Sauce:



Combine all the spices and cilantro together in a bowl and mix well. Rub the pork cubes with the mixture and marinate the meat at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Place the pork cubes on a rack over a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is quite crisp. Pour off any fat as it accumulates.

To serve as an appetizer place in a chafing dish along with toothpicks and accompanied with your choice of salsas, guacamole, and/or sour cream for dipping.


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