Posted on Leave a comment

Green Chile Pork Carnitas

hatch green chile pork carnitas

This recipe for Green Chile Pork Carnitas is one of my all time comfort foods, as it brings some heat from the regional New Mexican hatch green chiles and a ton of rich flavor from a variety of pork cuts.  Throw this in a low and slow kettle or slow cooker for an afternoon and you will have the start for an amazing meal for your family and friends. 

hatch green chile pork carnitas

Pork Carnitas Grocery List

Although the flavors for these carnitas are rich and complex, the ingredient list and following recipe is super simple.  Only a few things needed from the store to tackle this recipe.  

  • 10-12 lbs of Pork:  I prefer to use a variety of lean pork and fatty pork.  Typically 5-6 lbs of Pork Loin and then 5-6 lbs of Boneless Country Style Ribs or Boneless Pork Shoulder. 
  • 40 oz Jar of Roasted Hatch Green Chile:  I like to buy the Medium Heat 505 Brand Jars from Amazon or Costco.  They are straight out of New Mexico and have exactly the right combination of heat and tangy flavor. Do not skimp on quality green chiles… this is the key to the recipe! 
  • 28 oz can of Diced Tomatos or Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes 
  • 5 Cloves of Garlic Roughly chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Rice Vinegar 
  • Pantry Seasonings:  Salt, Black Pepper, Ancho Chile, Granulated Garlic

Pork Rub Seasoning

The green chiles goes a long way for seasoning the pork, but we need to add some more salt to make sure the carnitas have a nice punch of flavor after braising in the oven for 5 hours.  This is a basic rub I like to use to give the carnitas a well rounded bite….

  • 6 Tablespoons Sea Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Ancho chile
  • 2 teaspoons Granulated Garlic

Pork Prep for Carnitas

The most timely task in this whole process is prepping the pork, seasoning the pork, and then searing the pork in the dutch oven.  You can skip searing the pork if you want to save time, and it will come out fine.  However, I do think searing the pork builds a little more flavor. 

  1. Cube up the pork in 3″ cubes or strips depending on the cut of pork you are working with
  2. Season on all sides with the rub, coating all sides of the pork cubes evenly.  Don’t be shy with it! 
  3. Heat up your dutch oven, or other large 8 quart pan to medium heat until nice and hot. 
  4. Put a few table spoons of Vegetable Oil in bottom of the pan and sear the pork in batches, adding oil as needed.  Sear small batches at a time, so you are developing a nice golden brown flavor crust on all the pieces.  If you over crowd the pan, you steam the meat, and not get that nice crust. Turn the Pork once every 3-4 minutes to sear most sides of the meat.  
  5. Set pork aside after searing, then add it all back to the dutch oven after all the pork is seared. 

Slow Cooking the Green Chile Pork

Now that you have the pork seasoned and seared, the rest is easy!  The smells out of the oven the rest of the way will be intoxicating. 

  1. Pour the diced tomatoes, chopped garlic, roasted green chiles, and rice vinegar over the pork and nudge them into the crooks and holes of the pork.  
  2. Cover the dutch oven or pot and place in the oven at 300°F for a total of 5-6 hours. 
  3. At the 3-4 hour mark, get a sample of the braising liquid and some of the pork in a little bowl, shred and taste test.  At this time, add more salt to your taste before cooking the pork for a few more hours.  
  4. When you pull the pork from the oven, it will be swimming in liquid at first, similar to the picture below.  Before you shred all the pork, try to skim any excess fat from the top with a spoon. 
  5. Shred the pork and the meat will absorb all the juices and be amazingly tender and juicy! 
slow cooked pork carnitas

I hope you enjoy this one!  New Mexican flavors will always hold a special place in my heart from my time spent there.  Some of my favorite meals to make with the green chile pork are: 

  • Simple soft tacos with sour cream
  • Burrito bowls with rice and beans, and tomatoes.
  • Breakfast burritos with eggs, hash browns, cheese, and sour cream

Leave me a comment if you give this one a try!  – Keegan