Monday, April 26, 2010

Pork Carnitas and Fresh Tortillas

So, my neighbors had a BBQ for their daughter's 2nd birthday a few weeks ago. With fresh tortillas. I love fresh tortillas. So much so that I went out and bought a tortilla press. On occasion, we've looked for them at the thrift store. No such luck. And we bought the tortilla press at Sur La Table. So it wasn't terribly cheap.

On my Fridays, which is temporarily a day off for me, and a day when my son is still in school (didn't make sense to drop a day when it's temporary, and Friday has both pizza and Naitza, who is a little girl he kinda has a crush on. Did I mention he's FOUR??) - I try to make something that is a bit more labor intensive but also will last a long time.

This week, I'd planned to test drive the new tortilla press. My spouse and I made homemade corn tortillas years ago, using two plates and all our strength, without the benefit of leverage that you get from a press. I'd also planned on making black bean fejoida to stuff them with.

Then, I went on my grocery run. And I found pork shoulder (all natural, no hormones, not confined to cages) at Whole Foods. So I bought two pounds. When I got home, I used google as my friend and found this recipe for pork carnitas in the crockpot.

I adjusted it, of course. Because I used the recipe and my recipe for black bean fejoida and combined them. It was easy and DELICIOUS.

And the fresh tortillas....who knew they were so easy? I mean, a couple minutes to mix, then you roll into balls, then you flatten and cook. And they reheat well too. Except one note: even the plastic spatulas that are supposely rated to 500F will not likely survive a really hot cast iron pan. I got to experience how to scrub and reseason a cast iron pan.

This made quite a bit of filling. We had it for dinner Friday, lunch Saturday, dinner Sunday, lunch Monday, and will be lunch Tuesday.

Pork Carnitas
2 lb pork shoulder: $5.98
1 onion, chopped in food processor: 0.33
1 can diced tomatoes, pureed in food processor: 0.62
1/2 can tomatoes and chiles, pureed: 0.62
1 T. chili powder: 0.10
1 T. cumin: 0.10
1 T. cocoa: 0.10
5 piece green garlic, chopped in food processor: 1.00 (you can use a few cloves regular garlic, I had the green from the farm)
4 c. cooked black beans: 0.75 (especially cheap when you cook from dried and put in the freezer for later)

Total: $9.60 for about 10 cups, or $0.96 per cup. The amount that goes into one small tortilla is about $0.20.

Corn tortillas: makes 16
2 c. masa: $0.41 (at $2.99/5 lb)
1/4 tsp salt
2.6 cents each

Sauteed greens: $0.18
chard from the garden (I think this is still last year's chard) and beet greens: $0
1/2 sauteed onion: 0.15
1 Tbsp canola oil: 0.03

All in all, here was our dinner:
8 tortillas: 0.20
8 servings carnitas: 1.60
shredded cheese: 0.31
1/2 batch cooked greens: 0.09
sour cream for garnish: 0.25
1/2 pt. strawberries: 1.50
tortilla chips: 0.50
Total for 3: $4.45

I apologize for the washed out photo. It happens.

Edited to add: I cooked the pork in the crockpot on high for 5 hours. That's where the "easy" part came in. And I added the black beans for the last hour only, because mine were still frozen. Once the meat was fully cooked, I micro'd the beans and tossed them in.


Joanne said...

This sounds like one delicious meal! I love pork carnitas and the fact that the tortillas are homemade makes the whole thing that much better.

Your son sounds adorable - love that he has a crush already. young cute.

Anonymous said...

oh my goodness marcia that looks so good! i could eat it this morning! is there a whole food sin SB? i always go to Thousand Oaks for it.
happy monday!