Carnitas...what seasoning other than the typical....

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by slowcooker53, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. slowcooker53

    slowcooker53

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    At home cook
    I see carnitas recipes but none of them seem to have any spices that are uniquely mexican and when i try them they don't taste like carnitas you get at those little hole in the wall authentic stands. Is there something you've found that really helps give that authentic taste besides the typical every day things like cumin, garlic etc? I really have to think there are some things maybe only readily available at those mexican markets or such. Thoughts?
     
  2. teamfat

    teamfat

    Messages:
    4,090
    Likes Received:
    486
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    For me a defining touch is some sort of citrus, usually lime.

    mjb.
     
  3. chicagoterry

    chicagoterry

    Messages:
    963
    Likes Received:
    85
    Exp:
    Home Cook
    Rick Bayliss and Diana Kennedy both just use salt and a little water in their carnitas recipes. They simmer the pork in a bit of water until the water dissipates then allow the pork to fry in its own rendered fat.  Bayless does add a bit of lime juice but neither one of them seasons the pork with anything more exotic than that. 
     
  4. brianshaw

    brianshaw

    Messages:
    3,227
    Likes Received:
    388
    Exp:
    Former Chef
    It's the cooking in plenty of pork fat until crispy yet moist and tender that, to me, is the defining element of carnitas.  I'm with everyone who says that only S&P is required for seasoning.  I like citris on mine (orange mroe than lime) but even that isn't totally imporant since a squeeze of lime on the taco, gordita, or sope before eating is fairly commonplace.  I find the citris seasoning on the meat itself more important when carnitas are put in a burrito or  torta.
     
  5. brianshaw

    brianshaw

    Messages:
    3,227
    Likes Received:
    388
    Exp:
    Former Chef
    p.s.  I find that most of the "authentic" taco trucks/stands in my area serve the least seasoned carnitas (which actually have the greatest taste once in the final application).  The less authentic, mostly chain, restaurants tend to have the seasoned carnitas, which I attribute to the fact that they tend to serve a lot of their product on a plate to folks who eat without salsa or other "finishings", like cilantro, onion, roasted jalapeno, or a squeexe of lime.
     
  6. chefbuba

    chefbuba

    Messages:
    2,238
    Likes Received:
    516
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    I was taught years ago by a Hispanic female cook to salt & pepper, cook in lard until it starts to fall apart, then give a good squeeze of fresh orange juice, add half a can of coca cola turn the heat up to high until the meat starts to caramalize , then remove from the fat. Been doing it like this ever since.
    Shred and heat to order on the grill, re season with salt if necessary.
     
  7. nikolasrb

    nikolasrb

    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    cilantro-radishes-lime
     
  8. french fries

    french fries

    Messages:
    5,272
    Likes Received:
    344
    Exp:
    At home cook
    Thanks for sharing buba. So you pour the orange juice and the 1/2 can of coke right into the lard?