Friday, January 17, 2014

Chipotle & Adobo Carnitas

Every time we have Chipotle style burrito bowls at home we always use steak or chicken for the protein. I guess I was feeling adventurous this week when I decided to use shredded pork instead.

I should be adventurous more often, because this was a very, very good decision.

The pork took some time to locate. The recipe I based mine off of called for a 3 lb. pork shoulder. It took me five grocery stores to find a pork shoulder. And even then it was a 7.5 lb one. I'm sure I could have substituted another cut, but I'm not that familiar with pork so I wanted to use what the recipe called for. Tired of looking, I lugged the 7.5 lb pork shoulder home with me.

This meat turned out so perfect. It was fall off the bone tender. Seriously. When I removed the meat from the dutch oven to the cutting board to shred it, I literally pulled the bone out & there was not one bit of meat left on it. Shredding the meat was a breeze. It just fell apart. It was delicious on it's on, but the slightly spicy chipotle & adobo sauce just took it over the top.

Since I used such a huge cut of meat, we ended up with a lot of leftovers... definitely a good thing in this instance =)

Chipotle & Adobo Carnitas
(Recipe adapted from this one. All of my measurements are doubled since I used twice as much meat.)


  • 7 lb. Pork Shoulder
  • 7 oz. can of Chipotles in Adobo sauce
  • 2 onions; roughly chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves; roughly chopped
  • 1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 t. of cumin seed; roughly chopped
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup of water or stock
  • salt & pepper
  • Vegetable oil

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 
  2. In the bottom of a dutch heat 2 T. of oil over medium high heat. While that is heating, coat the outside of the pork in salt & pepper. When the oil is hot, carefully sear the pork on all sides (about 3-5 minutes per side.) Remove the pork & set aside. 
  3. Add more oil if needed, and then add the onions to the pot. Let cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for another minute. 
  4. Add the water to deglaze the pan, scraping up whatever bits you can. Add the bay leaves, canned tomatoes (including the juices) & chipotles (including all of the sauce). Carefully place the pork back in the dutch oven, put the lid on it & put in the preheated oven. 
  5. Cook until the pork is fall apart tender (for me it was about 4 hours). Remove it from the pot. Remove the bay leaves & discard. Pour all of the contents left in the dutch oven into a blender & puree until the sauce is smooth. Pour back into the pot & simmer on the stove top so it can reduce & thicken up. 
  6. Shred the meat and then add to the sauce to heat through & absorb some more flavor.
  7. Use it in burrito bowls, tacos, quesadillas, sandwiches; whatever floats your boat! Enjoy!


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