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Pork Carnitas with Red Chile Sauce

Super Bowl is just around the corner. I don’t know about the football fans you will be entertaining, but mine want hot wings, sliders, and nachos. If you are looking for something different to serve at your Super Bowl gathering, consider Pork Carnitas with Red Chile Sauce. This recipe is so versatile. You can serve it fajita-style with all the fixings or in sliders with your favorite coleslaw. Try is as a topping for nachos—it is way more flavorful than taco meat. What I love most about this recipe is that it has the most flavor the day after it is prepared, so you can make it the day before, reducing stress on game day.

Guacamole is always a favorite with football fans. I always prepare it last, so it stays fresh. I have included an easy guacamole recipe that has only a few ingredients, takes minutes to throw together, and is downright delicious.

Pork Carnitas with Red Chile Sauce Served Fajita Style Serves 6

For the pork filling:

1 (3 pounds) pork butt roast 3 cups water 2 teaspoons minced garlic 1 teaspoon chili powder 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 bay leaf 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon large grind black pepper In a slow cooker, place pork, water, garlic, chili powder, cumin, bay leaves, salt, and pepper over a high heat. Cover and cook pork on high for at least 5 hours, or until it is tender enough to be easily shredded with a fork. Remove pork from the slow cooker, reserving the drippings. Shred the pork and place in a large bowl. Cover with aluminum foil and set aside.

For the red chile sauce:

2 ounces dried mild New Mexico red chile peppers 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded 2 cups reserved pork drippings 2 teaspoons minced garlic ¾ teaspoon ground cumin ¾ teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. On a cookie sheet, place dried New Mexico chile peppers and bake for 10 minutes. Remove chiles from the oven and discard the stems and seeds.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, place red and jalapeño peppers and pork drippings. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove chiles and place in a blender. Pour in some of the drippings and purée peppers. Add remaining pork drippings, garlic, cumin, and salt and blend well. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 tablespoon flour ½ cup pork drippings or chicken broth 3 tablespoons sour cream 3 tablespoons honey 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, about 1 lime

In a large saucepan, heat vegetable oil over a medium heat until hot. Add flour and stir. Add the red chile sauce to the saucepan, stirring constantly. Blend in additional pork drippings, sour cream, honey, and lime juice. Simmer sauce for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add shredded pork to the sauce and mix thoroughly. Continue simmering until pork is heated through.

To serve: Flour or corn tortillas, warmed If you don’t have a tortilla warmer, preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Wrap 3 to 4 tortillas per package in aluminum foil and place in the oven for 10 minutes.

Suggested garnishes:

Red onion slices Guacamole Pickled jalapeño slices Shredded queso cheese Shredded cheddar cheese Your favorite salsa Sour cream Place pork carnitas on tortilla and garnish with desired toppings. Roll the tortilla and eat it like you would a fajita.

Super Bowl Super Nachos Serves 6 to 12

1 can (16-ounces) refried beans Your favorite tortilla chips 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, or to taste 2 cups Cheddar cheese, or to taste Preheat the oven to broil. Spread refried beans evenly on a large ovenproof platter, about 10 X 15 inches, and top with tortilla chips, forming a peak in the center of the platter. Smother with shredded cheese, evenly covering as many tortilla chips as possible. Place the platter about 5 inches beneath the broiler and cook until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Garnishes: 1 cup of your favorite salsa, or to taste Leftover Pork Carnitas with Red Chile Sauce, reheated ¼ cup green onions, thinly sliced Pickled jalapeño slices, to taste Chopped tomatoes, to taste Chopped red onion, to taste Guacamole Chopped cilantro, to taste Sour cream Drizzle salsa over nachos or serve on the side. Garnish as desired with pork carnitas, green onions, pickled jalapeño slices, tomatoes, red onion, guacamole, cilantro, and sour cream. Serve immediately.

Easy Guacamole

I like adding sriracha to my guacamole. When I use three avocados, I use one teaspoon of Sriracha. If you want to add more, be careful. Add a bit at a time so you don’t give your guac too much of a kick. 3 to 4 large ripe avocados 1 teaspoon minced garlic 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste Juice of 1 lime 1 teaspoon Sriracha, or to taste Remove skins and seeds from avocados. With a spoon, scoop out avocado meat into a medium bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher, leaving some small chunks. Add garlic, salt, lime juice, and sriracha. Blend gently.

Tips on shopping for avocados: If you want to use your avocado immediately, select one that yields to gentle pressure. If you are shopping ahead and plan to use the avocado in a few days, pick one that is firm to the touch. Pass up avocados that are bright green and feel rock-hard. They are difficult to ripen. Also, don’t buy this vegetable if it is sunken, shriveled, or feels mushy.

Tips on storing avocados: Avocados should be stored at room temperature until they are ready to eat. To speed up the ripening process, place them in a paper bag with an apple. Once ripe, avocados will keep up to 2 days in the refrigerator. If you only use half of an avocado, leave the pit in, brush the flesh with lemon juice, place in a reusable or plastic bag or wrap it tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.

Carol Ann

Carol Ann Kates is the award-winning author of cookbook, Secret Recipes from the Corner Market and Grocery Shopping Secrets. She’s an expert in how to shop, select, and store produce for maximizing home cooking outcomes and minimizing time and money spent. As a former supermarket and deli operator, Carol Ann shares grocery-insider wisdom—the same expertise you used to receive when patronizing a mom-and-pop establishment. Contact her at and explore her website,

Copyright 2023 All Rights Reserved Carol Ann Kates

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