Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Tender Flavorful Beef Carnitas - Clean Eating, Paleo, Gluten Free

Shredded Beef Carnitas served over top a fresh Mexican salad.

These Beef Carnitas are very tender and mildly sweet and spicy. If you use raw or fresh (not cooked or pasteurized) pineapple juice, it will tenderize your meat further by the bromelain content that pineapples contain. This recipe is very similar to my Pork Carnitas, I just added a bit more garlic to the beef version. See my Pork Carnitas recipe on my other blog called BeauteandtheFeast.blogspot.com.

You can make these carnitas in advance but it is super easy to make 4 hours before you plan on eating dinner. You will have a lot of leftover meat, unless you are feeding quite a large family. The left over meat is perfect for filling chimichangas, burritos or tacos, or use in a Mexican-style casserole, or as a Mexican salad topper, ... Yum.

What I love about meats that have been simmered in well-flavored broths or sauces, is that it usually keeps the meat from tasting oxidized when the meat is reheated as leftovers. Oxidation is prevented by the use of herbs and spices. Adequate salt in the cooking liquid helps all the flavors to permeate the meat, bringing the flavor throughout nicely. Reheating the meat on the stove instead of in the microwave keeps the leftover meat tasting fresh.

I am one of the unusual (weird?) people who can taste that oxidized off-flavor in meat. Rarely have I ever met people who can taste that like I can. It's been really annoying actually, because I can't stand leftover roast beef, chicken (strangely, Costco's rotisserie chicken, boned and packaged air-tight has tasted great), turkey (bleh, although brining it with herbs has helped), pork, let alone game meat. Microwaved meat is the worst! I see other people enjoying their leftover reheated whatever, and I can't eat it with out feeling sick, and I have to pick the meat out. It makes it hard for me to get the protein I want. I can usually eat meat if its freshly prepared with out a problem, unless it's old, improperly stored meat. Believe it or not, I do not like being a vegetarian. I will eat that way a lot, but I listen to my body in it's requests for good meat. It took me until I was in my late 30's to even figure out what that yucky "taste" was. I was doing research on professional food manufacturing and how a company was attempting to deal with the off-flavors of oxidized meat, extending it's shelf life. I found out I wasn't crazy after all....I'm just a "Super Taster." I should have a Super Hero cape made for that.

On to the recipe...

Beef Carnitas Recipe:

2 t. chili powder (gluten-free)
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. BioSalt or sea salt
1/2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. garlic powder (or granulated garlic)
1/2 t. fresh ground black pepper
3 to 4 pound beef roast, fresh or thawed
1 to 2 T. deodorized coconut oil
24 ounces unsweetened pineapple juice (can use 6 oz frozen concentrate plus 18 oz water)


Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F.

Mix the spices and salt together. Rub onto the entire surface of the meat.

Heat a large dutch oven (with a tight-fitting lid) on medium-high, add the coconut oil and sear the roast on all sides until brown, about 2 minutes per side.

Pour the pineapple juice over the roast, cover and place in the preheated oven for about 4 hours, or until the meat is fall-apart tender.

Shred the meat in the pot with 2 forks, stir into the juice and cover to keep warm.

Use in your favorite Mexican-style recipes.

Photos of the process:

Rub all sides of the roast with spice mixture.

Brown all sides of the seasoned roast in deodorized coconut oil in a dutch oven

Pour the pineapple juice over top and place on the lid.

Bake tightly covered at least 4 hours, until fall-apart tender.

Shred the Meat once it is fall-apart tender

Stir the shredded meat into the juice.

Serve hot with your favorite Mexican meal (this salad is dairy-free and grain-free).