Casuelitas and Carnitas

Casuelitas and Carnitas

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Credit: Todd Downs, Chef, Food Sense, Inc., Fort Wayne, Ind.
The National Culinary Review, October 2012


4 oz. lard
4 cups masa harina flour
4 t. salt, divided
2 t. baking powder
2 cups warm water
4 cups mashed Idaho potatoes
4 cups grated queso quesadilla cheese
1½ t. Twang lime salt
1 t. chipotle pepper powder
2 t. garlic salt
Shredded Pork Carnitas (recipe follows)

Shredded Pork Carnitas
6 lbs. boneless pork Boston butt
1 Sazón Goya seasoning packet
1 T. Mexican oregano
1 cup blood orange juice
2 cups orange juice
1 cup lime juice
½ cup chopped garlic
4 cups canola oil
2 T. chipotle pepper powder
½ cup tomato paste
Olive oil, as needed
1 cup barbecue sauce


Method: Combine lard, masa, 2 t. salt and baking powder in mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Slowly add warm water; mix well until mixture is smooth. Add mashed potatoes, cheese, lime salt, remaining salt, chipotle powder and garlic salt; mix well. Shape dough into cups. Fry at 375ºF until crisp. Serve with shredded pork carnitas. (Casuelitas can also be served with roasted/grilled vegetables with crumbled Mexican cotija cheese, garnished with chopped cilantro.)

Shredded Pork Carnitas
1. Trim pork; cut in 2-inch cubes. Combine Sazón Goya seasoning, oregano, blood orange juice, orange juice, lime juice, garlic, canola oil and chipotle pepper powder. Pour over pork. Marinate, refrigerated, overnight.

2. Blot pork. Preheat oven to 300ºF. Place pork in roasting pan with 1 cup marinade; roast for 30 minutes. Add tomato paste; mix well. Cover with parchment, then foil. Continue cooking for 1-1½ hours, until tender. Cool slightly. Shred with two forks. Add juices from pan to shredded pork; mix well. At service, lightly brown shredded pork in a little olive oil. Mix in barbecue sauce. Season, to taste.


12 servings


Appetizer, Pork, The National Culinary Review

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