Monday, March 26, 2012

Dutch Oven Carnitas!!

This weekend here on Long Island was cloudy, chilly & rainy. Hey, why not, it's Long Island. At least I am not out there shoveling snow!

I had planned on trying my hand at a dutch oven recipe that I had seen on the youtube channel of Outdoor Cast Iron Cooking. Dean & Joanie have many excellent videos, all about 'cooking in the great outdoors'. Every video is filmed at some cool location while cooking some awesome food.

When I saw how Dean whipped up some pork carnitas I knew I had to try it out. Here is how it turned out, on a rainy Sunday in March.

The method was Brown - Braise - Broil.

This is a rundown of what & how:
Note! For the braising portion of this cook, Dean used charcoal. As this is my first attempt at a long Dutch Oven cook and I did not have a covered area to use charcoal out of the rain, I braised using a propane burner. I know, lazy huh?
I used a 12" Dutch Oven

4 lbs Pork / cubed / from a large loin I found on sale
Tango Spice Chik N' Rib Rub
1 cup Dr Pepper
2 Oranges / sliced
2 Ancient Sweet Peppers / split & seeded
Some small onion / peeled
Cooking Oil

Browning Directions:
Place cubed pork on a parchment lined surface, coat with Chik N' Rib Rub (or your seasonings of choice) Then place in a a non reactive bowl.
Add enough cooking oil to cover inside bottom of dutch oven and preheat.
Add the pork in a single layer & brown both sides, turning once. This will take two or three batches depending on how much meat you have.
Remove browned meat, place in a separate bowl, brown the remaining meat.
Remove second batch of meat to the bowl with the first batch.

Braising Directions:
Scrape the brown bits left over with a wooden spoon, loosening them.
Add Dr Pepper & place pork meat into oven.
Place orange slices on top of meat and the split peppers on top of the oranges.
Add enough water to bring liquid level up to the top of the pork mixture.
Cover and braise for 2-3 hours until meat is tender.
After about one hour, remove the peppers, as they will be very tender. Remove the skin and use the pepper flesh to make a spicy paste*
After another hour, check the meat for tenderness. When you feel it is ready to shred, remove the pork from oven and place in a large bowl.
As you near the end of the braising time, start a full chimney of charcoal for the broiling portion.
Discard orange peels and remove the onions.
While meat is cooling, reduce braising liquid by two thirds, boiling and stirring using high heat.
While that is reducing shred pork.

Broiling Directions:
Remove the oven from the heat, place on a heat safe surface.
Place shredded pork back into oven, stirring it into the braising liquid.
Cover and broil meat for 10-15 minutes using a full chimney of coals on lid.
Once it becomes browned on top, remove lid from oven and discard coals.

The meat was insanely good! This method does differ from Dean's so please check out his video for his version. You have to try this, it is SO GOOD!

Spice Up The Pork

Brown It

Add The Oranges

Top With Peppers

The Aroma Was Amazing

Shredded Perfection

Top The Lid With Hot Coals

Wow, Look At That

Dig In!

As Always, Thank You For Reading!


  1. Found the blog...great addition to your YouTube.

    Thanks so much, I enjoy your posts!


  2. Joe, that sure looks good!! Right up my alley, if I get to it would like to try some of your spice mixes. Don

  3. Hello Carol, thank you very much for stopping by. I am glad that you enjoyed.

  4. Hey Don.
    Having just started to use the cast iron that has been on my shelve for so long I am now asking myself why it took me so long to start learning this cooking method.
    Let me know when you get ready to give it a go.