dinner · keto · pork

Carnitas Bowls with Chimichurri

I haven’t been cooking much with pork lately and decided I needed to change that.

You can only have chicken or turkey every day of the week for so long before you get really bored with it. Seafood is expensive, and a once-or-twice a month type purchase. I’m trying to cut down on the red meat—so pork is my only other budget option.

And boy, can pork sure be cheap. You can get a 4 lb. pork shoulder for under $10. Less-desired cut pork chops (like sirloin, or breakfast cut) are dirt cheap. And country-style pork ribs? We’re talking nearly 2 pounds for less than five dollars.

I was intrigued by this recipe on Gina’s Joys. She used a Dutch oven and country-style ribs to make some delectable looking carnitas. I’ve made carnitas many times before, but always in a crockpot and ALWAYS pork shoulder.

Days went by and I couldn’t stop thinking about her recipe. I was willing to sell my soul to make it and see if it was better than the version I made. I didn’t end up doing that, and the ingredients to make the carnitas ended up being less than $10, but I digress…

In the end, the Dutch oven country-style pork ribs WERE better than my usual pork shoulder roast! Crisping the meat up in a pan before serving really helped accentuate that wonderful texture and flavor. I made a few substitutions (using limes instead of oranges, and throwing a jalapeno in for good measure), but I have to say—I’m very impressed with Gina’s recipe!

Of course, I had to serve my carnitas in bowl form. I went back to two good recipes of mine to complete the bowl: cilantro-lime cauliflower rice and a simple chimichurri sauce. All of these things thrown together, with some cheese of course, ended up making a bowl that would rival any from Chipotle.

I plan on slicing up some avocado to put on my dinner bowl today—but I cannot slice avocado worth a damn. I’ve tried doing it to put in pictures for my blog—but it always ends up looking terrible! Help!

Hope you enjoy this slow-cooked, meaty goodness. It’s definitely a recipe for my dinner rotation.

Carnitas Bowls with Chimichurri

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Slow-cooked pork with lime, jalapeno and spices served with a cilantro-parsley chimichurri sauce.

Ingredients

For the carnitas:

  • 3-4 lbs. boneless country-style pork ribs
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried cilantro
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 2 limes
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 onion, cut into chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt & pepper

For the chimichurri sauce:

  • 1 bunch fresh parsley
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 TBS. white vinegar
  • 1 TBS. lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 TBS. water
  • salt

For the cilantro-lime cauliflower rice:

  • 1 (12 oz.) bag frozen cauliflower rice
  • 2 TBS. butter
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • salt & pepper

Toppings for the bowls:

  • Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Sliced avocados
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Sour Cream or crema

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Slightly oil a Dutch oven with olive oil or cooking spray. Layer pork ribs in Dutch oven and top with oregano, cilantro, cumin, salt, pepper and garlic. Squeeze in juice of 2 limes and add lime halves to the Dutch oven. Slice a jalapeno in half and add to pot. Add onion on top.
  2. Cover and bake pork for 2 hours or until meat falls apart and internal temperature is 145 degrees. Take ribs out of Dutch oven and chop into pieces. Strain lime halves, onion, and jalapeno out of Dutch oven, reserving the juices in the pot.
  3. Heat a little bit of oil (1 tablespoon) in a large skillet. In batches, cook chopped pork until crispy and browned on the outside. Add crispy pork back to Dutch oven and stir with juices. Pork is ready to serve!
  4. To make the chimichurri sauce: add all ingedients to a food processor except oil and water. Pulse until smooth. Slowly drizzle in oil while pulsing. Add water if mixture is too thick. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  5. Make the cilantro-lime cauliflower rice: cook rice according to package instructions. Dump rice into a bowl and mix with other ingredients. Build your bowl: start with rice, then pork, then chimichurri sauce. Add cheese, avocado, cilantro and sour cream to serve.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Slightly oil a Dutch oven with olive oil or cooking spray. Layer pork ribs in Dutch oven and top with oregano, cilantro, cumin, salt, pepper and garlic. Squeeze in juice of 2 limes and add lime halves to the Dutch oven. Slice a jalapeno in half and add to pot. Add onion on top.

Cover and bake pork for 2 hours or until meat falls apart and internal temperature is 145 degrees.

Take ribs out of Dutch oven and chop into pieces. Strain lime halves, onion, and jalapeno out of Dutch oven and discard, reserving the juices in the pot.

Heat a little bit of oil (1 tablespoon) in a large skillet. In batches, cook chopped pork until crispy and browned on the outside.

Add crispy pork back to Dutch oven and stir with juices. Pork is ready to serve!

To make the chimichurri sauce: add all ingedients to a food processor except oil and water. Pulse until smooth. Slowly drizzle in oil while pulsing. Add water if mixture is too thick. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Make the cilantro-lime cauliflower rice: cook rice according to package instructions. Dump rice into a bowl and mix with other ingredients. Build your bowl: start with rice, then pork, then chimichurri sauce. Add cheese, avocado, cilantro and sour cream to serve.

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2 thoughts on “Carnitas Bowls with Chimichurri

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