Home » Mexican » Quantity Pulled Pork {Carnitas Style}

Quantity Pulled Pork {Carnitas Style}

Carnitas - Pulled Pork

Carnitas – Pulled Pork

I think my P.S. (Pork Supplier/hubby) tries to challenge me. Why else would he purchase two frozen pork roasts, stuck together, and then thaw them all at once? I had 17 pounds of pork to deal with the other day and it was almost overwhelming. I seriously needed to make some porky plans!

17 lbs of pork shoulder

17 lbs of pork shoulder

I’d mastered the art of making roasts, shredding them, and making them Mexican flavored or Barbecue flavored. They were easy to freeze in portions for quick tacos or sandwiches. But when you have that much pork looking at you (it was so much pork I expected it to have eyes), there has to be a plan. Screaming and running was my first plan.

Sear all sides of the roasts

Sear all sides of the roasts

My second plan was to divide and conquer. I set the oven to preheat to 350°F, then heated two of my largest skillets to medium high on the stove and seared all sides of the porky hunks of meat. I’d trimmed the thick layers of fat off the bottoms; that wasn’t going to be necessary with the well-marbled roasts.

The browner the better; the caramelized flavor will be amazing

The browner the better; the caramelized flavor will be amazing

After climbing back down the kitchen step-stool, having disabled the smoke alarm that had bleeped out during the searing process, I decided to use my lasagna pan to hold both roasts in the oven. I covered the bottom with one large onion I’d sliced into pieces and hefted each roast into the pan.  I gave them a dusting of salt, pepper and cumin, added 2 cups of water to the pan, about 1” deep, then covered it with foil and put the pan into the oven.

Put in roasting pan, add an inch of water and cover with foil

Put in roasting pan, add an inch of water and cover with foil

I set the timer for 4 hours and when I used the digital probe to check the temperature, it was at 190°. Excellent! It would pull into shreds easily. I lifted the pan from the oven and made a huge mess.  The liquid level was almost to the top of my pan and I didn’t realize that since it was still covered in foil.  It splashed everywhere, including inside my oven.  We’ll need to press that self-cleaning button soon!

Test temperature with a thermometer and remove when done

Test temperature with a thermometer and remove when done

I let the roasts cool for an hour, for easier handling. Then one by one I shredded them with a fork and my fingers. They were perfectly done; the meat was moist and tender. The fat had melted out and there was very little excess I had to discard. Out of the original 17 pounds I think I had about 14 pounds of meat.

Shred with a fork when cooled enough to handle

Shred with a fork when cooled enough to handle

Next I decided to make half of it into Mexican shredded beef, similar to what would be called carnitas. I used 3 cans of whole tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, Mexican oregano, a can of diced green chilis and the onions from the roasting pan.

Use onions for the sauce; save broth for soup

The remains of the juices that didn’t end up on the floor of the oven. I used the onions for the carnitas sauce and saved the broth for soup.

I brought the sauce ingredients to a boil in a large soup pot, then let it simmer for about 10 minutes.

Bring sauce ingredients to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes

Bring sauce ingredients to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes

Using an immersion blender, I reduced it to a smooth sauce, then taste tested the sauce. I thought it was a trifle bitter, and added 2 tablespoons of sugar. Perfect. Not sweet by any means, but not bitter now.

Use an immersion blender to puree the sauce

Use an immersion blender to puree the sauce

I added about 2/3 of the shredded pork to the kettle. I’d guess it was about 10 lbs. I let it simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, then turned off the heat and let it cool. I put the meat into a container and refrigerated it to meld further with the sauce.

Add 2/3 of the pulled pork (about 10 lbs) to the sauce and simmer for one hour

Add 2/3 of the pulled pork (about 10 lbs) to the sauce and simmer for one hour

The second pile of shredded pork also went into a container to sit overnight in the fridge while I decided what I wanted to do with it. I was searching for a soup recipe perhaps, one with potatoes. That will be another post.

Pulled Pork Carnitas Sandwich

Pulled Pork Carnitas Sandwich

The next day I portioned out most of the Mexican shredded pork and froze it in containers. Later I will remove the frozen bricks from the containers and seal them in plastic with my Food Saver. Right after I eat my sandwich.  Doesn’t this make you want to lick your monitor?

Pulled Pork Carnitas Style

Pulled Pork Carnitas Style

Quantity Shredded Pork {Carnita Style}

10# shredded pork roast
3 15 oz cans tomatoes (whole or diced)
¼ cup chili powder
2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons Mexican oregano
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1 small can diced green chilies

Measure all but the pork into a large soup pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 10-20 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender or carefully int a regular blender, taking care to cover the top in case the top blows off (it happens!).

Return pot to neat on medium low and add pork, stirring to coat well. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, then serve as desired.

Freezes well in portions.Tiara Logo

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2 thoughts on “Quantity Pulled Pork {Carnitas Style}

  1. Oh man. I wish you would have posted this a week ago. I just did a roast, well two actually, in the crockpot. I was winging it. Trying to remember what you said. Missed it by about 3 feet. I used the crockpot! So, you browned them too. Were they thawed then? I had two small ones individually frozen and then I had to wait for them to thaw to fit in the crock pot. I dusted with some sort of rib rub and turned it on at 12:30 pm. Done to lovely fall apartness by 8:00. I think I did it at medium heat. Well, I borrowed Ashley’s crockpot because mine has a crack now. Don’t know WHERE that came from. And someone around here pulled the rubber seal off from around the lid! No one knows who! No one did it.

    Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2014 16:00:42 +0000 To: lkscrapper@msn.com

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    • I rarely use a crockpot because I don’t know when the food will be done for sure. With P.S. having to be fed and in bed by 7 pm, if food isn’t done I’m scrambling for a backup meal. Maybe if I used it more I’d be comfortable with them. I have about 6 of them!
      Your crockpot ran very hot for me when I made the breakfast casserole in it when I stayed with you in April. The heat probably caused it to crack eventually. I have just one with a rubber seal around the lid and always think that’s odd. None of the rest do.
      Yes he thawed the roasts for a week, then brought them up from the basement fridge. I always sear them and get that nice caramelization on them. Flavor in the brown, they say on the cooking shows!

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