Kate's Global Kitchen

by Kate Heyhoe


Pork Rib Carnitas


Many people know carnitas as the brown, crusty pieces of pork that make the best tacos and burritos. You can also make carnitas (little meats) out of pork ribs. A side of ribs cooked this way comes out crusty, moist, and full of rich flavor.

1 side pork baby back ribs, about 1-1/4 pounds, cut into 3 pieces
3 tablespoons Chipotle Rub
2 pounds pork lard or 4 cups olive oil
1 medium-sized white onion, thickly sliced (3/4 inch), plus 1 small white onion, chopped
10 cloves garlic
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 jalapeño chiles, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro


Place the pork ribs in a shallow nonreactive vessel and sprinkle the Chipotle Rub over them, coating evenly on all sides. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, in a heavy pan, melt the lard ( or heat the oil ) together with the sliced onion, garlic, and the ribs over medium-low heat. Slowly heat the ribs until they begin to sizzle, about 1 hour. Continue to cook until the ribs bubble and brown, about 30 minutes more.

In a bowl, stir together the chopped onion, tomatoes, jalapeños, cilantro, and salt to taste: set aside. Using tongs, remove the ribs from the cooking fat, draining well. Slice into individual ribs. Serve the ribs with the salsa.

Serves 4

The Little Dishes of Mexico

By Reed Hearon
Photographs by Laurie Smith
Price: $15.95, paperback
ISBN: 0-81 18-1009-7
Chronicle Books
Reprinted by permission

Plus: 50 more Mexican recipes in Mexico section.

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This page originally published as a Global Gourmet Today column in 1998.

Copyright © 2007, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.

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This page modified January 2007

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