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Carnitas


slainte39

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Does anyone have any recommendations for carnitas in the Chapala- Ajijic area--on the weekend? Tony in San Antonio was doing them on Saturdays, but seems he quit. Carnitas can range from great to awful so a new place to try can be a crapshoot unless someone gives you headsup. The hiway to Guad. has several(or many) good spots but a little far to drive for something that is less than the holy grail.

The best carnitas I have ever tasted in Mexico is in Quiroga, Mich--but that definitely is off the board unless I'm headed that way.

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We get ours from one of the two tables full in front of the Chapala Mercado, usually Fri-Sun. at 11a.m.

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You want the best carnitas Lakeside? Drive through Joco, at the Joco T, turn toward Guad. Drive about half a klik to the very last restaurant on the west side of the Hwy (red umbrella thingy). He has the meat roasting over an open fire pit speared on rebar. I have heard the place called "Meat Man" or "Rebar Cafe". The carnitas are amazing. So is the chorizo, the lamb, the birria...

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Here is a good recipe that you can do your own. The baking time can be extended if you like them a bit more crisp.

Carnitas

1 boned, tied port shoulder or butt (4 to 5 lbs)

2 onions, peeled and quartered

4 stalks celery (including leaves), rinsed and cut into chunks

4 cloves garlic, peeled

2 dried bay leaves

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk

Rinse pork and put in a 6-8 quart pan. Add onions, celery, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, salt, and enough water to cover meat (2 ½ - 3 ½ quarts).

Bring to a boil over high heat; cover, reduce heat, and simmer until meat is very tender when pierced, 2 to 2 ½ hours. Transfer pork to a 9 by 13 inch pan; reserve cooking juices. Discard string and use 2 forks to pull meat into large chunks. Pour milk over meat.

Bake pork in a 325 oven until drippings are browned, about 1 hour, stirring and scraping pan occasionally.

Meanwhile, pour reserved juices through a strainer into a bowl; discard residue. Skim and discard fat. Return juices to pan. Boil over high heat until reduced to 2 cups, about 45 minutes.

When pork drippings are browned, add 1 cup of the reduced juices; scrape drippings free and stir meat, breaking into smaller pieces. Bake until juices have evaporated and drippings are browned, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Repeat step, using remaining juices and cook until meat edges are crisp and browned, 15 to 20 minutes longer.

Makes 8 to 9 cups

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Here is a good recipe that you can do your own. The baking time can be extended if you like them a bit more crisp.

Carnitas

1 boned, tied port shoulder or butt (4 to 5 lbs)

2 onions, peeled and quartered

4 stalks celery (including leaves), rinsed and cut into chunks

4 cloves garlic, peeled

2 dried bay leaves

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk

Rinse pork and put in a 6-8 quart pan. Add onions, celery, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, salt, and enough water to cover meat (2 ½ - 3 ½ quarts).

Bring to a boil over high heat; cover, reduce heat, and simmer until meat is very tender when pierced, 2 to 2 ½ hours. Transfer pork to a 9 by 13 inch pan; reserve cooking juices. Discard string and use 2 forks to pull meat into large chunks. Pour milk over meat.

Bake pork in a 325 oven until drippings are browned, about 1 hour, stirring and scraping pan occasionally.

Meanwhile, pour reserved juices through a strainer into a bowl; discard residue. Skim and discard fat. Return juices to pan. Boil over high heat until reduced to 2 cups, about 45 minutes.

When pork drippings are browned, add 1 cup of the reduced juices; scrape drippings free and stir meat, breaking into smaller pieces. Bake until juices have evaporated and drippings are browned, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Repeat step, using remaining juices and cook until meat edges are crisp and browned, 15 to 20 minutes longer.

Makes 8 to 9 cups

Tom, where do you find the pork shoulder or butt, and any idea of the prices? (I find that sometimes it's just cheaper to buy meats premade here, rather than make them myself as I would NOB.)

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Does anyone have any recommendations for carnitas in the Chapala- Ajijic area--on the weekend? Tony in San Antonio was doing them on Saturdays, but seems he quit. Carnitas can range from great to awful so a new place to try can be a crapshoot unless someone gives you headsup. The hiway to Guad. has several(or many) good spots but a little far to drive for something that is less than the holy grail.

The best carnitas I have ever tasted in Mexico is in Quiroga, Mich--but that definitely is off the board unless I'm headed that way.

Just a few kilometers north of Chapala, on the Chapala/Guadalajara highway, you'll see the restaurant Carnitas Uruapan. It's on the west side of the highway; you go past the restaurant to the closest retorno, make a U-turn, and come back to it. The genuinely Michoacán-style carnitas they serve are delicious.

The best carnitas, bar none, in Mexico are made in a tiny restaurant in Zamora, Michoacán. Quiroga is good, but Zamora is better. Wish I were there today...even though I ate carnitas at El Rey de Carnitas in Quiroga only yesterday!

The carnitas made at home using recipes like the one posted upthread simply do not compare.

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