Mostly about food, this blog is just a place for me to throw things that are of interest to me. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by an look around. This represents just some of the stops on the various pathways that this amateur home cook finds himself.

You may find that these foods tend toward protein and away from carbohydrates - this is due to diabetic issues, so I try to only sparingly use carbs, and good ones at that. Of course, sometimes I forget....

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Friday, January 30, 2009


A real treat for those in the know. Very popular in South Texas and much of Mexico, and everyone makes theirs a little different. I picked up the milk trick through an abuela on the border, it helps the browning and crispiness.

1 t salt
1/2 t fresh ground black pepper
2 t dried Mexican oregano
1 1/2 t cumin
6 garlic cloves
2 T vegetable oil
2 chiles arbol (4 if you like more heat)
2 lb. pork butt, cut into bite-sized chunks
3 T lard, shortening, or my choice - bacon grease
1/4 cup milk

Haul out the sacrificial pork butt, a clean cutting board, and a sharp knife.
P.S. - look close at the sticker, you'll see the great sale they had!

Cut the meat into big chunks, following the muscle lines. Separate the bone (if any) and any silver skin and gristle from the meat.
Cut the pork butt into bite-sized pieces, trimming off any chunks of fat (save the fat for sausage use or rendering).
Now break out the spices. Clockwise from 3:00 - chiles arbol, minced garlic, salt, black pepper, Mexican oregano and cumin.
Combine the first 6 ingredients in a molcajete, mortar and pestle, or food processor. Grind or whiz it around until you have a smooth mixture, and empty it in a large bowl. Set aside. Put your cubed pork into the bowl, and mix well until all meat is thoroughly coated. Cover the coated meat and let it sit out for about 30 minutes.
Melt the lard/shortening/bacon fat over medium heat in a large covered skillet or Dutch oven. Dump in the pork and sear the meat quickly, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for about an hour, stirring a few times to help the browning and prevent sticking.

After an hour, add the milk, uncover and raise the heat to medium-high. Simmer until most of the liquid is gone, stirring and scraping up all the goodies off the bottom of the pan. In 15 or 20 minutes, the pork should be all brown and a bit crispy on the outside, and tender and yummy on the inside. Drain.
Caranitas is very versatile. It can be served as an entree, or shredded for enchiladas, or served my favorite way - in a steamy flour tortilla with grilled onions, avocado slices and pico de gallo!

1 comment:

Guaca Mole said...

Nice recipe! I know that they are authentic South Texas style because of the H.E.B. sticker haha!