Thursday, June 20, 2013

Pork Carnitas with Coconut Flour Tortillas


We love Mexican food, but it can be a challenge when you're grain-free.  This meal was a five-star winner, and we'll be doing it again.  While it takes some time to marinate and then slow cook the pork, actual hands-on preparation is easy and doesn't take long at all.  The coconut flour tortillas, while not being flour tortilla clones, have the right qualities for a tortilla - soft, pliable, don't split, neutral taste, and lets you pick up and hold the goodies inside.

Pork Carnitas

3.5 lb pork roast (we used a Boston butt roast)
3 limes
Celtic sea salt
1 head garlic, peeled and separated, cloves sliced

1 T chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
3 T bacon grease or lard
1/2 cup beef or chicken broth

Put the pork roast into the crock of your slow cooker and stab it a few times.  Squeeze the juice of the 3 limes all over the pork, flipping it once to coat the roast, and sprinkle generously with salt.   Cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Put the crock into your slow cooker - no need to drain - and add the seasonings and garlic.  Set pats of bacon grease on the pork (it's ok - carnitas are not supposed to be dry!), and pour broth over all.

Cook on LOW for 10 hours.

An hour before serving, take pork out of crock and set in a large bowl.  With a pair of forks, shred the pork - it's very tender, so this is a fast and easy job.  If there are any large bits of fat in the pot, shred that into the pork, too.  Turn the shredded pork back into the crock and cook on low for an additional hour, while you prepare the rest of the meal.

When everything's ready, scoop a serving of carnitas onto a tortilla and top with whatever you like.

Topping ideas: diced onion, lettuce, tomato, avocado slices, olives, salsa, guacamole, sour cream or thickened yogurt, shredded cheese, jalepeno slices, cilantro...  Set it all out and let everyone top their own.

Coconut Flour Tortillas
Makes 6.

As I mentioned earlier, these aren't going to fool anyone into thinking it's a flour tortilla, but they do the job nicely.  They are more like crepes, I think.  The flaxseed is optional, but it added a little savory note that reminded me of corn tortillas, and I liked them a lot better with it than without.

1/4 cup coconut flour, sifted
2 T. ground golden flaxseed
1/2 cup egg whites (throw the yolks into a smoothie or make mayo with them or something)
2 eggs
1/3 cup whole milk plain yogurt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. celtic sea salt
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. chili powder
Butter for the pan

Mix together everything except the butter.  You can do this with a mixer, although I just used a whisk and it was fine.  Let the batter sit for about 10 minutes - the coconut flour will soak up a lot of liquid and expand.  The batter will still be somewhat thin.

Coat a heated pan or griddle with butter - it should be hot, but not to the point of smoking and burning the butter (err on the side of less heat rather than more).  Scoop about a 1/4 cup batter into the pan and then use a spatula to carefully spread the batter out in a larger circle as thinly as possible without putting holes in it (if you do, just scoop a bit of batter to fill in the hole).  Let it cook for about a minute and a half until bubbles form on the top, and then flip it, cooking the other side for an additional minute.  Turn out onto a plate and continue with the remaining batter.

Prep the toppings for the carnitas (or ask a family member to do it), set everything out and let everyone put their meal together.

~ ~ ~

This recipe was adapted slightly from one published March 2012 issue of  Real Food and Health , by Sarah Smith of Nourished and Nurtured.  If you haven't yet discovered Real Food and Health, you should check it out - available for Kindle, Nook, as a PDF file or print-on-demand, each month is packed full of great recipes and tips for healthy, traditional living.  I've been subscribed since the beginning, and every issue is a keeper.

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1 comment:

  1. Tortillas with coconut flour!!! I bet they are yummy! The Pork Carnitas look incredible, mouth watering....