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 a 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.
- 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:
- Tomato-based Mexican salsa
- Tomatillo-based salsa
- Sour cream
- 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.