The carnitas burrito is a beloved Mexican dish featuring tender, flavorful pork wrapped in a warm tortilla. Originating from the state of Michoacán, "carnitas" translates to "little meats" and is traditionally made by slow-cooking pork until it is melt-in-your-mouth tender. This hearty meal has become a staple in Mexican cuisine and a favorite among food lovers worldwide.

carnitas burrito

Ingredients List

To make your own carnitas burrito, you'll need:

For the Carnitas:

  • 3 lbs pork shoulder (also known as pork butt), cut into large chunks
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 cup chicken broth

For the Burrito Assembly:

  • Large flour tortillas
  • 2 cups cooked rice (white or brown)
  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar or Monterey Jack)
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup guacamole
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Shredded lettuce (optional)
  • Diced tomatoes (optional)
  • Pickled jalapeños (optional)

Optional Add-Ons for Customization:

  • Refried beans
  • Grilled bell peppers and onions
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Hot sauce

Step-by-Step Instructions

Preparing the Carnitas

  1. Marinate the Pork:
  • In a large bowl, combine olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, minced garlic, orange juice, and lime juice.
  • Add the pork chunks and mix well to ensure they are evenly coated with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
  1. Cook the Carnitas:
  • Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C).
  • In a large oven-safe pot or Dutch oven, add the marinated pork, onion quarters, and chicken broth.
  • Cover the pot with a lid or aluminum foil and cook in the preheated oven for about 3-4 hours, or until the pork is tender and easily shredded with a fork.
  • Once cooked, shred the pork using two forks and mix it with the remaining juices in the pot for added flavor.

Assembling the Burrito

  1. Warm the Tortillas:
  • Heat the flour tortillas in a dry skillet over medium heat for about 30 seconds on each side, or until they are warm and pliable.
  1. Fill the Burrito:
  • Place a warm tortilla on a flat surface and add a generous portion of shredded carnitas in the center.
  • Top with cooked rice, black beans, shredded cheese, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, and any additional toppings you desire.
  1. Wrap the Burrito:
  • Fold the sides of the tortilla over the filling.
  • Roll the burrito from the bottom up, tucking in the sides as you go to ensure the filling is securely enclosed.

Searing the Burrito (Optional)

  1. Heat a Pan:
  • Heat a non-stick skillet or pan over medium-high heat.
  1. Sear the Burrito:
  • Place the wrapped burrito seam-side down in the hot pan.
  • Cook for about 2 minutes on each side, or until the tortilla is golden brown and crispy. This step adds a delightful crunch to your burrito.

Serving Suggestions

Serve your carnitas burrito with a side of tortilla chips and salsa or a refreshing Mexican street corn salad. For beverages, consider a cold Mexican beer, agua fresca, or a classic margarita.

Final Thoughts

Making a carnitas burrito at home is not only satisfying but also allows for endless customization. Feel free to experiment with different fillings and techniques to create a burrito that suits your taste perfectly. Happy cooking, and enjoy every delicious bite!

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