Carnitas Enchiladas Verde
serves: serves 12-16
I first served this dish on the infamous election night of 2016. We threw a big bash, called South of the Border, we were all very hopeful, you see. The night turned sour, but the recipe was delicious! The tomatillo salsa verde paired beautifully with carnitas slowly braised with orange juice and zest.
I make my own Queso Fresco, but it is readily available in shops if you are not in the mood.
I live in the Charles Village neighborhood of Baltimore, home to a really interesting group of artists, entrepreneurs, students, and professors. Every month, a large group in this community gathers for a pot luck brunch. I have attended several over the past month, and this weekend, I hosted my first Charles Village Potluck Brunch. It was lovely hosting 40 of my friends and neighbors for food, laughs, and good conversation.
I decided to serve the enchiladas again for this brunch. I wanted something that could somewhat feel like breakfast, but also maybe a lunch. And I had pounds and pounds of green tomatoes at the ready. This time, instead of tomatillos, I used green tomatoes with a squeeze of lime juice. In the recipe below, I used my original tomatillo recipe, but to replace it with green tomatoes, simply add 3-4 tablespoons of lime juice when blending the ingredients for the salsa verde.
- 4 pounds (1.8 kg) pork roast, 1 inch (2.5 cm) cubes
- 2 cups (480 mL) water
- 1 onion, peeled, halved
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 orange, juiced and halves reserved
- 1 1/2 pound (675 g) tomatillos, quartered and cored
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 white onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 small green chilis, stem removed
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1 tablespoon salt, to taste
- 24 corn tortillas
- 1 3/4 cup (400 g) queso fresco
- for the queso fresco:
- 1 gallon (3.8 L) whole milk
- 6 tablespoons salt
- 4-6 tablespoons cider vinegar, more as needed
- For the carnitas: Combine all ingredients in Dutch oven. Cover and transfer to oven at 300°F (150°C) for 2 hours.
- Remove pork and orange halves. Blend and reduce the braising liquid over high heat until thick.
- Pull meat into small chunks, toss in the glaze, and spread onto a
slotted rack over a cookie sheet. Broil until brown and crisp.
- For the salsa verde: Blanch tomatillos. Drain, set aside.
- Heat oil in saucepan. Add onion and cook 3 minutes.
Add garlic and chili, 1 minute.
- Put onion mixture, cilantro, and tomatillos in blender.
Pour back in saucepan, simmer.
Remove from heat add salt.
- To assemble: Place 4 tablespoons of carnitas at one end of warmed tortilla, roll and place on oven safe platter.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
Cover rolled tortillas with sauce and cheese crumbles. Bake until cheese is melted and serve.
- For the queso fresco:Mix milk and salt in stock pot over medium heat.
Heat slowly to 185°F (85°C), stirring constantly.
Line strainer with cheesecloth.
- Remove milk from heat, stir in circular motion and add vinegar.
Allow milk to sit for a few minutes until it separates into curd and whey.
Add extra vinegar if it does not happen.
- Strain, reserve whey for baking or other recipes.
When mostly strained, gather the cheesecloth at its edges and tie together and hang off of faucet to drain for 2 hours.