Monday, 7 January 2013

Pork Belly Carnitas with Tomatillo and Avocado Salsa

I made these for dinner then wanted them for lunch the day after that and the day after that.

They are superb for watching Australia beat Sri Lanka in the Boxing Day Test (our only claim to fame recently). They are fabulous for ringing in the New Year with some wicked Margaritas. They'll be wonderful for watching the Australian Open for hours and hours... and hours. They'll be excellent for listing to the Triple J Hottest 100 on Australia Day... with cold, cold beer. They'll be great for Friday night football (whenever the heck this heat gives-up and we are actually in football season again).

Actually they are great for any time and any day. I'm thinking of having them for breakfast... and you know I'm not kidding.

Pork Belly Carnitas with Tomatillo and Avocado Salsa
from Thomasina Miers Wahaca
Serves 4

For the Carnitas:
1kg pork belly, boned
500 g lard
2 bay leaves
5 garlic cloves, bashed
2 oranges, sliced
1 teaspoon peppercorns
500 ml cola drink
A handful of thyme sprigs
Sea salt 

For the Tomatillo and Avocado Salsa:
200g canned tomatillos, drained
1 small salad onion, halved
2 fresh jalapeno chillies
large handful coriander, roughly chopped
juice of 1/2 lime
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon caster sugar
sea salt and freshly ground pblack pepper
1 avocado, cut into small dice

To serve: 
A handful of fresh coriander, chopped
1 salad onion , chopped
Lime wedges
Warm corn tortillas

Make the Carnitas:
Preheat the oven to 130 degrees C.

Cut the pork belly into 6 roughly equal pieces. Rub with salt and leave to sit for 1 hour.
Put the pork chunks into a large casserole pan with the rest of the ingredients and bring to simmering point. Cover well with a tight-fitting lid or foil and cook in the oven for 2–3 hours until the pork is so soft that it can be cut with a spoon.

Scoop out the pieces with a slotted spoon and arrange them on a baking sheet. Turn the oven up to 190 degrees C. Roast the pork for about 30 minutes, until the pieces are crispy, golden and caramelised.

Make the Tomatillo and Avocado Salsa:
Bring a pan of watrer to the boil and drop in 1/2 the salad onion and chillies. Simmer for 5 minutes, then immediately drain and rinse in cold water.

Put the tomatillos, coriander, lime juice, olive oil, sugar and cooled chillies and onion in a blender and blitz to t puree. Season well with salt and just a little black pepper.

Finely chop the remaining half of the salad onion and stir it into the tomatillo puree along with the diced  avocado.

Roughly chop the meat and serve on a wooden board or heated plate with bowls of coriander, salad onion, wedges of lime, tomatillo and avocado salsa and warm tortillas for making your own tacos.


  1. I'm supposed to eat my breakfast right now but my stomach is craving for these carnitas. It makes me hungry!! It looks just so good, WOW!

  2. OMG that salsa. Here in Texas, we eat tacos for breakfast all the time! DO IT.

  3. Hehe Gabrielle - sorry to ruin your cereal.

  4. Hey Little Kitchie - that's it, I'm doing it!