Meals Sides

Carnitas Tacos with Mexican Rice and Black Beans


I realize Mexican food is normally associated with warm, sunny places, but sometimes, in the dead of winter, all I want are gobs of beans, rice, cheese and slow cooked meats. It feels like comfort food to me, and, because of the lime, cilantro, and spice (my favs), I’m pretty sure I could eat Mexican food for months and be happy as a clam. So, I bring to you the warm, comfort food goodness of carnitas, beans, and rice. The beans are a hybrid between regular and refried, but without the lard typically used, the rice is flavored with onions and chicken or veggie stock, and the carnitas…well…the carnitas are melt in your mouth flavor bombs of goodness. 

Serves 6
  1. 1 3-4-pound bone-in or de-boned pork shoulder or butt roast, trimmed of excess fat
  2. 2 Tbs. chili powder (blend)
  3. 2 tsp. ground cumin
  4. 2 tsp. ground coriander
  5. 1 tsp. dried oregano
  6. 1 tsp. cinnamon
  7. 2 tsp. brown sugar
  8. 3 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
  9. 1 Tbs. sea salt
  10. 2 Tbs. olive oil
  11. 1 cup orange juice
  12. Juice from one lime
  13. For serving: corn tortillas, cilantro, avocado slices, Monterey jack or other mild cheese, salsas, shredded cabbage and lettuce
  1. 1. The night before your taco feast, combine the chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, cinnamon, brown sugar, garlic, salt and olive oil in a gallon ziplock bag. Mix around to make a paste. Add the roast and toss to coat with the spices. Refrigerate overnight.
  2. 2. The next day, place the roast in a slow cooker and pour the orange juice around it. If you are using a bone-in roast, cook on high 8-10 hours. If you are using a de-boned roast, cook on high for 5-6 hours, or until the meat is tender and beginning to fall apart. Note: I like to start the roast early so I can refrigerate it at this point for a couple hours. I take it out of the fridge about 20 minutes before we're ready to eat, and follow the remaining steps. It makes the shredding of the meat easier and allows the fat to rise to the top of the juices.
  3. 3. Transfer the roast to a cutting board. Pour the juices from the slow cooker into a medium pot, allow the fat to settle to the top, and ladle off and discard the fat (if you cooled everything, do this before you pour the juices into the pot). Bring the juices to a boil and cook for 10-15 minutes until slightly syrupy.
  4. 4. While the juices are reducing, shred the pork into good taco-sized pieces. Discard any large chunks of fat. Add the shredded meat into the pot with the reduced juices, and mix to coat.
  5. 5. Add the limes juice, mix, and keep warm until serving.
Adapted from Nicki Sizemore
Adapted from Nicki Sizemore
Mexican Rice
  1. 1 Tbs. olive oil
  2. 1 large onion, chopped
  3. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  4. 1 Tbs. minced and seeded serrano chiles
  5. 2 cups long-grain white rice
  6. 3 1/4 cups chicken or veggie broth
  7. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  1. 1.Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and chiles. Sauté until onion is translucent, about 9 minutes.
  2. 2. Add rice and stir for 2 minutes. Then, add broth and salt and bring to boil.
  3. 3. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until rice is just tender and broth is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
Mexican black beans
  1. 1/2 Tbs. canola or other vegetable oil
  2. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  3. 2 (15-oz) cans black beans (save some of the liquid)
  1. 1. Heat oil in saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. 2. Add beans with liquid from one can. Drain the other can and add beans. Mash about 1/2 the beans with a potato masher.
  3. 3. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture is hot some of the liquid has boiled off (you can make them as creamy or as dry as you like).

1 Comment

  1. I never knew we could slow-cook the pork for carnitas in a simple crock pot. I thought it was something you could only eat out, not make at home. So I’m so excited about this, and to try these. Thank you.
    PS. ‘Flavor bombs of goodness’.

Comments are closed.