Carnitas is a delicious Mexican dish, and if you have never tried it before, you're in for a treat! But figuring out what to serve with carnitas can be a challenge - after all, it's not every day that you get to enjoy this savory pork delicacy.
From traditional Mexican accompaniments to unexpected sides, we will show you what to serve with pork carnitas and how versatile carnitas can be. Prepare for a tasty, mouth-watering experience!
What is Carnitas?
Carnitas is a deliciously juicy and tender Mexican dish made from slow-cooked pork that has been simmered in its fat with garlic and vinegar. The result is a perfectly flavor-infused piece of meat that is incredibly crispy on the outside and meltingly soft on the inside. I hope you'll check out our slow cooked pork carnitas recipe. Easy and delicious.
How Healthy are Carnitas?
How healthy carnitas can come down to how they're prepared and what you choose to serve them with. You may make the dish unhealthy if you're piling the sour cream and cheese on top of a heaping plate of carnitas. However, there are plenty of ways to make this dish a little more nutritious.
First, opt for lean cuts of pork when making your carnitas. This will reduce the fat consumed without losing that delicious flavor.
Second, try serving your carnitas with fresh veggies like sliced avocados or tomatoes. Not only does it add a refreshing crunch, but it also provides some much-needed vitamins and minerals.
Finally, balance out your carnitas with a nice piece of whole wheat tortillas or, even better, a serving of brown rice for the added benefit of fiber and whole grains.
Can I Make Carnitas Easily at Home?
Although this dish is popular at Mexican-style restaurants, many people hesitate to make this delicious meal at home. The truth is that carnitas can be somewhat challenging to make, but they are well worth the effort.
The key to successful carnitas lies in the preparation and cooking process. To achieve the perfect texture and flavor, it's essential to cook the pork slowly with plenty of spices and seasonings. This can take several hours, so be sure to plan accordingly. I would recommend cooking the meat in a crockpot. Once cooked, the pork should be crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
As you become more comfortable with carnitas, you can experiment with different flavors and techniques for added complexity.
Traditional Sides When Serving Carnitas
Traditional options abound when deciding what foods work best when serving carnitas; each has something unique.
One option is to serve carnitas with rice and beans. This classic pairing provides a hearty base that complements the rich flavors of the pork. The rice can be cooked in chicken broth to add flavor, and the beans can be seasoned with garlic or cumin for added depth. Together, they create a balanced meal that will satisfy any craving.
Of course, a tasty restaurant-style salsa, guacamole, or queso with tortilla chips is an excellent choice for a side or an appetizer to start your meal.
Creative Options Abound When Serving Carnitas
If you're a carnitas fan, you know this pork dish is incredibly delicious. But what if we told you there are some creative options for what to serve with pork carnitas? That's right - by pairing your carnitas with the right sides or toppings, you can take this already-great dish to new heights.
Try serving your carnitas with roasted or smoked vegetables like sweet potatoes, peppers and onions for something more unexpected. The sweetness of these veggies pairs well with the salty, savory flavor of the pork.
Another popular option is to serve carnitas as part of a taco bar. Set out tortillas, tomato salsa, guacamole or smoked guacamole, shredded cheese, and other toppings so guests can build their tacos just how they like them. We also have a list of all our favorite taco bar recipes all in one place, if interested.
What Drinks Pair Well with Carnitas?
It can be difficult to figure out what to best pair spicy, rich-tasting food with when it comes to alcoholic beverages. Here are a few ideas that will bring your meal to the next level of goodness:
1. Margarita: A classic margarita is the perfect pairing for carnitas. The bright acidity of lime juice and the sweetness of simple syrup complement the savory flavors of the pork perfectly. You can also experiment with different types of tequila or add flavorings like cranberry, jalapeño or cucumber to customize your drink.
2. Beer: If you prefer a more casual drink, beer is always a great choice to serve alongside carnitas. A light lager or pilsner will cut through the meat's richness and refresh your palate between bites.
3. Sangria: Sangria is a great drink to serve at a party and pairs especially well with carnitas. The fruity wine, sweet fruit juices, and fresh herbs all work together to balance the saltiness of the pork.
Carnitas is such an amazing dish that it could stand alone, but making the right decision when deciding what to serve with Carnitas will elevate this dish to the next level!
No matter what you serve with Carnitas, it will be an unforgettable experience for all your guests! Try experimenting with different flavors and ingredients to discover the perfect combination for your next meal. With the right side dishes, you can make any carnitas dish even more mouthwatering and delicious!