Chipotle Carnitas Recipe takes the inspiration of Chipotle and brings it into your own kitchen. How great is that?
If I walked into your house and opened your freezer, what would I find? I’m guessing there might be some bags of frozen veggies. Perhaps some ice cream stashed away in the corner. There’s probably some frozen chicken or beef waiting to be cooked, too. That pretty much describes my freezer…and I like to think of myself as fairly normal.
Oh, we also have large amounts of cooked meats stacked in our freezer. I make this smoked pulled pork a number of times throughout the summer, and then I freeze most of it in 1-pound packs. I do the same thing with this smoked beef brisket. Then when Old Man Winter comes along, I’ve at least got a lot of delicious smoked meats on hand. It helps me forget about all the snow outside… at least for a few minutes.
At any given time, I’ve got enough pulled pork and smoked brisket in my freezer to feed a small army. What can I say? Pulled pork sandwiches and smoked brisket sandwiches are delicious! But now I’ve got a new meat to add to the party, homemade Chipotle carnitas!
Unlike the first two meats, this one is slow cooked in the oven for several hours. (I used my 7 ¼ quart round Le Creuset French Oven.) This braised pork shoulder is incredibly simple to make, and it serves as the basis for some delicious tacos!
My wife and I absolutely love swinging by Chipotle to grab a quick dinner, especially after we get back from a long road trip. Chipotle’s carnitas are right up there on my list of delicious meals, so I set out to create a similar version at home.
While I don’t have the exact recipe for Chipotle’s carnitas, this one is pretty darned close. I noticed that the ingredient list on Chipotle’s website includes “thyme, bay, juniper berries and cracked black pepper.” Ok, so I had a starting point, but what the heck are juniper berries?
I had never used juniper berries before, but I found them in bulk at a local organic grocery store near my house. A quick check of Wikipedia revealed that juniper berries are more common in European cooking, especially when cooking wild birds and game. Interesting! Check “cook with juniper berries” off my bucket list!
In the end, these carnitas tasted remarkably similar to the Chipotle version. We made delicious tacos for several nights with the carnitas, and the rest went into the freezer with the pulled pork and smoked brisket. So much for only keeping “normal” things in my freezer!
It's Taco Week on Food Fanatic with KitchenIQ. Follow along, make your own, and make sure to share them with us on Twitter and Facebook using #TacoWeek.
Disclaimer: This post originally contained a giveaway; it is now over.
Are you tired of the dinner routine?
Stuck in a rut or looking for fun new recipes to try?
Our Facebook Group is growing every day! If you haven’t joined yet, we invite you to come check it out and join the fun.
You can ask for recipe ideas, talk about cooking techniques, or get help figuring out the right new pan set for you. If you’ve already joined, invite a friend along!