Gluten Free Mexican Carnitas

Gluten Free Mexican Carnitas

Carnitas are my all time fave! If we're going out and there's carnitas on the menu - I have to get it. Just. Enough okay? It's a labor of love, this recipe is not for set it and forget it people. Just make it, you will love it and you're welcome.

You'll need:

-Dutch Oven or Large Cast Iron Pot
-Standard Size Crockpot
-Foil Wrapped Pan (for Broiling)

Carnitas Ingredients:

2 - 3 Lbs Pork Loin (Cut into 5-6 Large pieces)
3 Tablespoons Salt
1 Yellow Onion - Minced (We use a mini food processor)
3 Cloves Garlic - Minced (Garlic press or Buy the Already Minced Jar)
4 Tablespoons Lime Juice
1.5 Tablespoons Chilli Powder
1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin
32oz Gluten Free Beef Broth (most major brands are GF already but always check)
1/3 cup Vegetable Oil

Carnitas Cooking Directions:

Salt the pork on all sides and put aside to rest.

Place the Chicken Broth, Lime Juice, Spices, Garlic and Onion into the crockpot stirring gently and turn on LOW. 

Preheat your Dutch Oven or Cast Iron Pot on medium high heat. Add Vegetable oil and evenly coat the bottom. When oil is ready, place pork pieces inside and cook each side approx 5-6 minutes (until golden brown.) Remove pieces and add them to the crock pot and cook low for 6.5 hours. (or high for 3-4)

After 6.5 hours pork should easily shred with two forks. Can shred inside the crockpot or remove pieces to a plate to shred before transferring back to the crockpot - whatever is easier for you. Make sure all the shredded pieces are coated in the sauce. Turn on "Keep Warm" for additional 30 mins - 1.5 hours.

Turn Oven on Hi Broil. Transfer Pork to a foiled pan sheet and drizzle a few tablespoons of sauce on top and broil 6" from the top for 2 minute intervals until the ends are slightly crisping and browning. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of sauce and serve. 

To Store: Place leftover meat in an airtight container with enough liquid to cover all pieces, like a stew. 

To Reheat: Microwave in 30 second intervals and mix up until warm. Transfer to oven for broiling instructions for crispy ends.

All the Fixings:

Cilantro (optional, I know we're all divided on it)
Finely Chopped Red Onion (optional but highly recommend, even if you 'don't like onions')
Cheese (we love Tillamook farmstyle cut, it's wide shred vs the hair-thin mini shred)
Tomatillo Salsa (it's Green, and yes it makes a difference. It's not really spicy either)
Mexican Crema

Make Mexican Crema: Table cream is found in the Mexican refrigerated section. Pour out 1/4 of the container into a small dish. Zest 2 Limes (or more, if you're a limehead) into the cream. Add salt and pepper. Cut Lime in half. Cut one of the halves into smaller wedges for serving and squeeze the other half's juice into cream and mix. Refrigerate 15 minutes before serving. 

Serve with:

Corn tortillas (street taco size) or corn tortilla chips (for nachos)
Corn tortilla chips

Heat fresh tortillas inside a damp paper towel in the microwave for 30 seconds. The damp paper towel helps prevent the tortilla from falling apart. Fill with meat, top with cheese, onions, crema, salsa and cilantro.

To make nachos - place chips on a foiled pan and fill with cheese. Place meat on top, with green salsa. Broil on Hi for 1-2 minutes, until cheese is melty but chips are not burned. Top with crema, onions and cilantro. 

Filet Options:

Instead of shredding, you can also serve these filet style. 

Make Gravy:

Take 1-2 cups of liquids from the crockpot and place in a sauce pan on medium high heat. Bring to a boil. 
Whisk together 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of cold water until smooth. Slowly pour into sauce pan,  whisking constantly. reduce heat to low. When gravy starts to thicken, remove from heat completely. 

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