Every Thing Sounds Better When You Roll Your Rs

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Sunny CarnitasI did a bunch of batch cooking Sunday night so that I didn’t have to do much this week other than reheat and pick a veggie. I made chicken breasts, turkey meatballs, and a new recipe. I decided to use my new cookbook that I got a couple weeks ago, Well Fed. It’s probably one of the best I’ve gotten in a long time from the writing style to the pictures to the taste of the recipes… and believe me, I’ve got an entire collection of cookbooks.

There’s a recipe in there for Citrus Carnitas that I decided to try but I changed it up just a little bit from the one in the book. With a name like carnitas, how could you go wrong. Try saying it without smiling. Carrrrr-neee-tas! Ole! It helps to roll the rrrrr. Plus it comes from the same animal as bacon which adds to the experience.

Sunny Carnitas

  • 3 lbs pork loin chops, large ones
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • Just under 1 Tbsp garlic powder
    (The recipe called for 1 Tbsp granulated. I just used the regular since that’s what I had on hand, but a bit less.)
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • Water

Mix the dry spices together in a small bowl and set aside. Cut the pork chops into 3 inch chunks. My chops were about 3/4 inch think and the size of my hand (including fingers). I cut each chop into quarters. Don’t make small beef stew-sized bits or they’ll cook too fast.

Take each chunk and dredge in the spice mixture almost like you’re breading it slightly. I used all of the spice mix on my chops by the time I was done dredging. If you have leftovers, don’t save it since it’s touched the meat. Throw it out or pat the rest on the chops. Place the meat pieces into a big pan in a single layer.

Once all pieces are coated and in the pan, add the lime juice and OJ, and enough water to cover the meat. Heat over high heat until the water comes to a boil. Reduce the heat so that it just simmers slightly. Let the meat simmer for about 1 ½ – 2 hours.

Check on it every so often after the hour mark so that it doesn’t boil dry. The water will gradually boil away and the pork pieces will start to sizzle. When that happens, turn the meat pieces carefully to brown and crisp all sides.This doesn’t take long to do. Makes about 8 – 10 servings.

You can use this as-is with a veggie on the side, slice and top a salad with it, stick it in tortillas and veggies for a soft taco. Since you get so many servings out of it, you can try a bunch of meal variations. The spicy, crispy goodness was unbelievable and my house smelled great too. Unfortunately after this recipe, I’m almost out of cumin. That means a trip to the spice store! 😉

If you love foodie type recipes, I definitely recommend a copy of Well Fed for your cookbook collection. I’ve tried several recipes so far and all have been this amazing.

What’s your favorite cookbook? How about your favorite spice? Maybe I’ll pick up a bottle on my trip to the spice store.

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