Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Carnitas, Jalapeno Pinto Beans, and Red Chile Rice

Crispy, succulent, flavorful little chunks of pork that you simply can't quit popping in your mouth, creamy smooth pinto beans with the zippy flavor of jalapeno, and spicy red hot chile rice with a hint of lime...this is a meal made in heaven.

On the day that I made this meal I had all the windows open downstairs and the aroma was so intoxicating the neighbor stopped by to see what I was making. No joke. I can't even tell you how good this whole meal was.  This meal made me fall in love with the Homesick Texan cookbook.  It is simply one of the best things I've made this year.  If I had to cook a meal to impress, this would be it.

Adapted from The Homesick Texan
Makes 4-8 servings

3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lime juice
4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
Houston-Style Green Salsa, optional
Tortillas, avocado slices and chopped cilantro for serving

Place the pork in a large Dutch oven or pot; add the orange juice, lime juice, garlic, cumin, salt, and enough water to barely cover the meat.  Bring the pot to a boil and then turn the heat down to low and simmer uncovered for 2 hours.  Do not touch the meat.

After 2 hours, turn the heat up to medium-high, and while occasionally stirring, continue to cook uncovered for about 45 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated and the pork fat has been rendered.

NOTE: At this point I transferred my pork to a nonstick skillet to brown because it was sticking to my stockpot and causing the pork to shred up.  You may wish to do the same.  Or, I'm sure you could add some additional canola oil to keep it from sticking.

When pork has browned on both sides, it's ready.  (There will still be liquid fat in the pan.)  Taste and add salt.  Serve either cubed or shredded with Houston-Style Green Salsa, tortillas, avocado slices, and chopped cilantro.
 Jalapeno Pinto Beans
Adapted from The Homesick Texan
Serves 8-12

1 pound pinto beans
1 medium yellow onion, cut in half
4 cloves garlic
2 jalapeno chiles, seeds and stems removed, cut in half lengthwise
1/4 cup white vinegar or jalapeno pickle juice (a wonderful secret ingredient)
salt to taste

Rinse and sort through the beans, removing any stones and shriveled beans.  Place the beans in a large pot and cover with 1 inch of water.  Bring to a boil and then cook for 15 minutes.

Drain and rinse the beans and then return them to the pot.  Cover the beans with 2 inches of clean water.

Add to the pot the onion, garlic, and jalapenos.  Bring pot to a boil and then turn the heat down to low.  Simmer covered for anywhere from 4-6 hours or until beans are tender.  (The time needed to cook will depend on the freshness of the beans).  Once beans are tender, stir in the vinegar or jalapeno juice and salt to taste and cook for 10 more minutes.

NOTE: Don't skip the jalapeno pickle juice, it really takes these beans to the next level. Additionally, I had to strain a little bit of the water/bean liquid at the end of the cooking process.  I wish I would have remembered to save it so that I could use the bean liquid in the refried beans.  If you wish to make refried beans, remember to save some of the bean liquid.
 Red Chile Rice
Adapted from The Homesick Texan
Serves 4-6

3/4 cup canned crushed tomatoes, drained
1/4 medium yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo (or 1/2 if you don't like much heat)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup uncooked rice
2 cups chicken broth
salt, to taste

Add to a blender the tomatoes, onion, garlic, chipotle chile, cumin, cloves, and lime juice.  Puree until a thick paste forms.  Remove tomato puree from blender and measure.  You should have about 1/2 cup.

Note:  I had quite a bit of the tomato puree leftover.  Enough to make another batch of rice.  Be careful not to use all the liquid and measure out only the 1/2 cup called for.

Heat up the canola oil in a heavy-bottomed pot (I use a nonstick skillet so the rice didn't stick or burn).  Set the heat on medium-low.  Add the rice and saute for 30 seconds.  Add the tomato puree and while stirring, cook for 1 more minute.

Pour in the chicken broth, bring to a boil, and then cover the pot, turn the heat down to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let it sit for 10 more minutes.  Stir the rice to incorporate any tomato puree that's accumulated on top and then salt to taste.

This post is part of The Homesick Texan Cookbook Spotlight and Cook-Off sponsored by Hyperion and hosted at girlichef


  1. It all looks awesome, but I'm especially drawn to that rice. Yum!!

  2. I've always wanted to make carnitas. There's something very comforting about this entire spread.

    I love that your neighbor stopped by, Toucan Sam style. My neighbors just stop by to see what all the yelling is about. (I kid! I kid!)

  3. If neighbors were drawn over by the smell...I've got to try it too.

  4. yes, Yes, and YES!! I'd be conveniently popping by for dinner that night, for sure. They all look amazing. Aaaahhh, I ♥ The Homesick Texan Cookbook...

  5. Wow. This might be the only way I can get my neighbors to introduce themselves. I'm on it!

  6. Well done! This is one of Doug's favorites if we go out for Tex Mex or Cuban...

  7. Oh Kim,
    What a wonderful meal, all the recipes look awesome. I can't wait to make the Carnita's. Hope you are having a great week and thanks for sharing. Its been fun cooking with you!
    Miz Helen

  8. I couldn't resist any longer and ordered the cookbook last night. Now I'll have to sit by my mailbox and wait for it to come. While everything you've posted from it has looked wonderful, I think I'll be making the carnitas first. I've never made them and, loving pork as I do, it's a no-brainer. The sides look amazing as well. Can't wait!

  9. This is a fantastic meal and you did a lovely lovely job! The carnitas caught my eye too. :)

  10. Hi Kim, It all looks so wonderful. A great warming meal for a cool fall evening. I'd have to skip the beans though :( as hubby won't eat them, but I'd eat every last bite if I had some. Can't wait to try these!!!

  11. wow !! I love everything featured!! carnitas are my hubby fav. I am sure he woould love these little morsels!

  12. Second best use of pork butt ever! (Nothing can surpass pulled pork, ha ha)

    I love all of these dishes and the pinto beans really are calling to me!

  13. The whole dinner looks incredible. I wish I ws your neighbor (especially if you shared!) ;-)

  14. Those carnitas look great, I made the refried beans (and you are right about the jalapeno juice) and they were amazing, and that rice was to die for! Mmmm, there are so many great things to try in this book, I can't wait to dive in even more!


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