The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

Local Pork Carnitas

June 10th, 2014 · No Comments · Posted in Recipes


My sister and her husband were visiting over the weekend so we dove into the chest freezer for a piece of the pork shoulder we bought from our friend Mike to prepare their version of carnitas for dinner.

Carnitas, for the uninitiated, are (is?) basically the Mexican version of pulled pork. In this case, the shoulder, once defrosted, was coated in a kind of chimichurri sauce–finely chopped onion, bell pepper in a variety of colors and pickled jalapeno–then wrapped in aluminum foil and cooked in a 250-degree oven for several hours.

My sister wanted to call the pork done at a certain point but the meat wasn’t pulling apart the way she was used to. I measured with an instant-read thermometer and found the temperature of the meat to be 190 degrees. I declared it done and we chopped it roughly rather than pulling it.

In my world, you can roast or braise or smoke pork shoulder at 200 degrees and the number of hours you do so is rather immaterial. What counts is the final temperature of the meat. You should check it periodically while it cooks so that it ends up exactly where you want it.

As an added treat, my brother-in-law gifted us a tortilla press and he and daughter made tortillas on the comal from organic masa. As you can see, the finished carnitas, with an array of condiments including chopped onion, fresh tomato, avocado, cilantro, were quite gorgeous. The only thing missing was the queso fresco. We have some somewhere in the chest freezer but darned if we couldn’t find it when we needed it.

Just add a glass of your favorite chardonnay.

Bon appetit!

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