Ranch Style Pork Carnitas is one of those old-fashioned ranch dishes that people crave. Health conscious foodies may think they have outgrown this old-fashioned deeply fried favorite. Truthfully I get a lot of requests for my Carnitas recipe. And don’t kid yourself, we never have any leftovers!
A Ranch Style Favorite!
You have to have a sense of humor when you admit that you enjoy eating pork fried in lard. It sounds like a recipe for a heart attack! Realistically, we only eat Carnitas once or twice every year. Really we enjoy Carnitas because they are good for our soul, even though they may not be very healthy for our bodies.
Carnitas are absolutely magical when they are freshly made and chopped for tacos. I love them covered with crunchy cabbage and radishes, pickled onions and a little bit of salsa. Corn tortillas are especially good with Ranch Style Pork Carnitas. Flour tortillas can be a little rich, as they are made with lard, but frankly I wouldn’t turn them down!
Traditionally A Cold Weather Dish
Carnitas were made during the cold weather months on the old ranches, around Christmas time when the hogs were being slaughtered. Back in the days when there was no refrigeration, meat processing happened when the ambient temperature was low. Tamales, chorizo, chilorio, asado de puerco and carnitas were different dishes that were prepared in a way that not only cooked the meat but extended the shelf life of the dish.
I love Ranch Style Pork Carnitas because it uses both the pork meat and the lard, products of those old-time ranch activities. The other ingredients, milk and oranges, are also winter-time ranch products, and I love that they are all included in this recipe. If you want to truly experience the cuisine of my homeland, try making a batch of carnitas. A little messy, a little rich, but a lot of flavor and down home goodness!