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Recipe: beef carnitas

beef carnitas recipe image
Beef carnitas serving suggestion

beef carnitas

This recipe comes from the Tasting New Mexico cookbook.


  • 1 1/2 pounds Boneless sirloin or top round steak, cut across the grain in 1/8 inch strips
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced thin
  • 5 fresh mild New Mexico Green Chiles, sliced into very thin rounds
  • 4 thick flour tortillas, warmed
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon crumbled dried Mexican oregano
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 to 6 fresh jalapenos, chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro, optional
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt to taste


In a large heavy wok or cast-iron skillet, warm half of the oil over high heat until it just begins to smoke. Add half of the beef and stir-fry, tossing almost constantly, until browned well, about 2 mintues. Repeat with the remaining oil and meat. Transfer the meat to a platae as the strips get deeply colored.

Reduce the heat under the skillet to medium and add the onion and chile. Cook until softened and charred in a few spots, stirring almost constalntly. Return the meat to the skillet and toss with the vegetables.

Using tongs, lift about 1/4 of the meat mexiture from the skillet, getting a balanced mix of meat and vegetables. Allow excess juices to drip back into the skillet. Fill a tortilla. Repeat with remaining beef mixture and tortillas. Top with salsa and serve right away. Pick the tortilla up and fold it upward like a taco to devour.

For marinade: The night before you plan to cook, place the beef strips in a gallon freezer bag. Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl and pour it over the beef. Refrigerate covered for as long as you can manage, up to 24 hours.

For Mona's Salsa: The day you plan to cook, stir together the salsa ingredients in a bowl. Add salt if youwish, keeping in mind that the soy sauce in the meat marinade gives a good bit of salty tang to the dish. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Assembly: Drain the beef strips, discarding the marinate.

Working ahead: in addition to marinating the beef a day ahead, you can slice the onions and chiles and wrap them tightly to store overnight in the refrigerator.