This recipe for coca cola carnitas was inspired by my sister-in-law Norma Leticia. Years ago, before she was married to my brother, she owned a busy taco business in Texas and I always admire anyone who takes on a food business on there own. She would tell me how her son Irving, who was very young at the time, would help her prepare. She described how she would cook the carnitas is an oversized copper cazuela outdoors. She no longer has the taco business, but still holds on to that cazuela.
Her preperation of the carnitas was so simple, I could not even believe it. I expected this line up of ingredients and there was really only two things she used. One, rendered pork manteca(lard) to cook the carnitas and the other main ingredient, Mexican coca cola! Seriously? It’s true and it works. The coca cola yields the most beautiful colored pork carnitas and the most tender I have had in a long time. I have to admit, I would have like a more crispy exterior on the carnitas, but they were absolutely delicious.
Salsa Verde Recipes
With just a few additions of my own, this is my version of Norma’s recipe for carnitas. I don’t cook like this with lard very often, but I knew I had to try it at least once. If cooking with lard is really not your thing, go to the end of the post to find more ways on how to enjoy Pork Carnitas! #foodieforlife #carnitas
Freshly prepared corn tortillas infused with jalapeño is what we enjoyed on the first day. Simple follow the directions for the corn tortillas on the link. to infuse with jalapeño, you will re-hydrate 1 tablespoon of jalapeño flakes in a little hot water before mixing in to the masa. Cook as directed.
Carnitas without deep frying?
Yes, it’s possible! Carnitas al vapor, as mom called them, are cooked with a rapid steam with no oil. Choose your favorite carnitas recipe. The rapid steam cooking method works best with pork or beef that has some fat in it. If it’s too lean, it will be too dry.
Instead of salsa on the first day, I simple chopped and diced all of the ingredients for pico de gallo and served lime on the side. You will need tomato, onion, cilantro and chile serrano or jalapeño.
Pork Carnitas Recipes
Mexican Coca Cola Carnitas!
- 3 pounds pork shoulder
- 5 cups pork lard manteca(rendered pork fat)
- Salt and fresh cracked pepper
- 1 cup Mexican brand Coca Cola
- 1 inch piece of Mexican canela
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- Slice the pork into 2 inch chunks. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Heat the pork fat to medium heat in a medium heavy pot. After about 5 minutes, add the seasoned pork. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until pork is lightly browned.
- Add in the coke, canela, bay leaves and thyme. The carnitas will cook for the next 90 minutes to 2 hours and a steady boil. Skim the top as needed as it cooks.
- At about the 2 hour mark, the carnitas will be this nice caramelized color and should pull apart easily with a fork. Drain onto paper towels. For a crispy carnita, transfer carnitas to a nonstick pan with no oil. Heat on high and toss carnitas as needed. Serve right away.