I have the perfect Friday meal to tell you about today.
These are in honor of my middle sister’s birthday. A day early! Happy early birthday, Rosie!
If Rosie could eat one thing for the rest of her life, I think it would be burritos. Or waffles. Or noodles in any form. Rosie, like me, is obsessed with food. She even went on to become a chef, working in some fabulous kitchens in the Philly restaurant scene. She is also one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. Also one of the smartest. Rosie has an awesome ability to see things in a way that no one else does. She’s blown my mind many times over the years.
We also could not be more opposite. In every way. She’s funny, go-with-the-flow, relaxed, and crazy creative and artistic. She’s a free spirit, in my opinion. And I couldn’t be more the opposite. Nope. I require structure, order, and a plan to function. She’s a cancer to a “T,” as I am a virgo to a “T.” It’s crazy how different we are.
One of my favorite things about Rosie is that she’s always game to eat. And she and I have eaten together A LOT over the years. It’s like our thing. We see each other and within minutes one of us is asking if the other is hungry. Also, side note: she makes the best damn chicken tinga tacos I’ve ever had. Maybe I’ll get her to share the recipe with you guys someday. It’s amazing.
These carnitas burritos are a homage to Rosie and her love of good food. Comforting but humble food. Because that’s exactly what burritos are!
Carnitas are a savory pulled pork. They differ from American pulled pork in that they aren’t really sweet. No BBQ sauce here. I do add a touch of brown sugar and fresh orange juice to mine because I love the balance they impart, but the carnitas do not end up tasting sweet at all.
Just like with any pulled pork recipe, you can eat these a million different ways. We love them in these burritos, or in tacos, or over nachos. Heck, I’d eat them in the morning with my eggs. They’re so versatile and so delicious.
My recipe is pretty straightforward and it’s one I’ve made for years, tweaking and changing ever so slightly each time. The version below is the one I’ve used for the past year or two. It doesn’t deviate from classic carnitas too much. Simple, humble, but so damn good.
To complement the savory-tangy-spiced robustness of the pork, I made a fluffy cilantro-lime rice. It has a little bit of creaminess to it, which makes it the perfect backdrop to the pork AND the ideal burrito filling. I love it. I could eat it by itself all day and night. It’s bright and tangy and adds a luxurious texture to the burritos.
As far as the rest of the fillings go, I say you do whatever you like! We do shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, onions, scallions, some pickled jalapeños for heat, avocado, and beans. Dan will swap his beans for extra pork, and he always adds cheese. You can dip your burrito in salsa or sour cream or just eat it as is. There’s enough flavor inside to make that possible.
At the end of the day, the carnitas are the star, as they should be. Rosie would definitely approve.
HBD, Po! I can’t wait to see you in person again soon! Xoxo!Print
These Carnitas Burritos with Creamy Cilantro-Lime Rice are a comforting, humble, but knock-your-socks-off delicious meal! Filled with spiced and savory pulled pork, fluffy and creamy rice, and loads of fresh toppings, they’ll make everyone happy.
For the Carnitas:
- 1 (3-lb) boneless pork shoulder
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
- Juice of 1 orange
- Juice of 2 limes
For the Rice:
- 2 cups cooked rice
- ⅓ cup chopped cilantro
- Juice of 1 lime
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Burritos:
- The pork
- The rice
- 4 10-inch flour tortillas, warmed
- 2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup canned black or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- ½ red onion, finely diced
- ½ cup chopped scallions
- 2 avocados, diced
- ¼ cup pickled jalapenos, chopped (or fresh!)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar or Jack cheese
- Chopped cilantro
- Sour cream, salsa, pico de gallo, for serving
For the Carnitas:
- Place the pork shoulder in a slow cooker.
- Combine the salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, and brown sugar in a bowl and then rub it all over the pork.
- Scatter the onions, garlic, and jalapenos over the pork and then juice in the orange and limes.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 6 hours, or until the pork shreds very easily with a fork and the juices have reduced by half (you can also cook it on LOW heat for 10 hours).
- Shred the pork and toss with the cooking juices so it stays moist.
- The pork is delicious as is at this point, but if you want authentic carnitas, crisp them in a large skillet. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of oil. Add 2 cups of the shredded pork and some of the cooking juices to the pan. Press the pork into an even layer in the pan and let it crisp up, undisturbed, for about 2 minutes. Turn the pork over and do the same on the other side. Leave some of the pork soft so that it is easy to eat in the burritos.
For the Rice:
- Cook the rice according to the package directions, fluffing it up with a fork when it is done.
- Add the cilantro, lime, sour cream, and a pinch each of salt and pepper to a mixing bowl. Add in the rice while it’s still warm and stir well to combine. Adjust the seasoning, as needed.
For the Burritos:
- Place roughly ⅓ cup each of the pork and rice in the middle of a warmed tortilla. Add whatever fillings you like! We do shredded lettuce, tomatoes, beans, onion, scallions, jalapenos, avocado, and cheese.
- Roll the burrito up, tucking the ends in as you roll. Slice in half and enjoy!
- Category: dinner
Keywords: carnitas burritos recipe, easy slow cooker carnitas, cilantro lime rice, pork burritos, pulled pork burritos