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Smoked Carnitas in Peach Chipotle Sauce with Citrus Slaw

by practicewithdanielle

I recently looked back on the advice I’ve doled out over the past year through emails or blog posts.

How easy it seems when you think you’ve got it all figured out. You have a moment of clarity and everything seems so…simple.

I’m thankful I’ve felt this way at times, because when those moments are few and far between you forget that finding peace with yourself is WORK. Hard work. Constant work. Never-ending work.

Quieting the anxious thoughts or stories that replay over and over get exhausting. You forget what it feels like to be at peace.

Whether you write or sing or dance or have some sort of outlet – I hope you have an outlet. These help remind us what it feels like for our brain to STFU every once and a while so we can just live in the moment.

I’m struggling to find those moments, but therein lies the work. 

Cooking is an outlet for me. Slow cooking to be exact.

Not rushing to make dinner, or meal prepping for the week ahead. But picking a fun, creative recipe and chipping away at it in a relaxed pace.

This is one of those recipes. Smoked Carnitas in Peach Chipotle Sauce with Citrus Slaw.

top down shot of Smoked Carnitas in Peach Chipotle Sauce with Citrus Slaw on a white plate

You need a smoker. There’s probably a way to do this on your grill, but the magic of Smoked Carnitas is that they are cooked slow, so that the fat renders out and all you’re left with is tender, fall apart shreds of pork. Smokey pork.

This requires patience.

Shoutout to boyfriend who meticulously tracked the temperature of the pork and fawned over it’s progress all day. Smoked Carnitas wouldn’t be possible without you.

side view of top down shot of Smoked Carnitas in Peach Chipotle Sauce with Citrus Slaw on a tortilla

Now, for my favorite part. Peach Chipotle Sauce. It’s sounds crazy because it is crazy but every once and a while I have a stroke of genius which allows me to blend sweet, in season peaches with smokey adobo chiles. And it pairs so wonderfully with pork.

I got the idea from Al Pastor tacos – which uses pork and pineapple. Sure pineapple is great, but when you haul a box of Palisade Peaches back from Western Colorado you need a few recipes with peaches in them.

I couldn’t stop there.

The smokey pork requires a bright crunchy toping and Citrus Slaw was just the thing. Using orange juice in the soaking liquid adds another flavor dimension that works perfectly with fresh jalapeños, onions and cabbage.

Without getting too obnoxious about myself, I’m pretty proud of how this meal turned out.

Make your own corn tortillas (please, it’s so easy) or just eat Smoked Carnitas in Peach Chipotle Sauce with Citrus Slaw all on it’s own.

top down shot of Smoked Carnitas in Peach Chipotle Sauce with Citrus Slaw on a white plate

Smoked Carnitas in Peach Chipotle Sauce with Citrus Slaw

(start making 6 hours before you want Smoked Carnitas in Peach Chipotle Sauce with Citrus Slaw)

Smoked Carnitas
2-3 Lbs pork shoulder
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp Chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp black pepper

 

Peach Chipotle Sauce

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
3 Peaches, sliced
1 Small onion, chopped
2 Garlic cloves, chopped
3 adobo chili peppers in sauce
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1.5 cups OJ
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 cup water

 

Citrus Slaw
1/2 head purple cabbage, shredded
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 jalapeños, thinly sliced
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup vinegar
1 cup water

 

For this recipe, you will need a smoker. You could make this in your oven, but you will not get the smoked taste.

Start by rubbing your carnitas spices all over your pork, completely covering the meat. It will seem like a lot, but you want the spices to carry flavor into the meat.

Get your smoker to temp, around 250F. I’ve heard you need 1 hour per pound of meat to get the internal temp up to 195F, but for us, it took about 6 hours for the fat to completely render out of the meat. You want the meat fall apart tender, and this sometimes takes a little longer – even if your meat is at 195F.

While your meat is cooking, create your sauce. Get your olive oil and butter hot over medium heat in a sauce pan. Add your peaches, onions, garlic, and adobo chiles sautéing. Once soft, add your spices and liquids. Cook for another 5 minutes then remove from heat. Once cooled slightly, blend everything together in a blender or with an emulsion blender.

Prep your citrus slaw by adding all your ingredients together. This will last up to a week in your fridge.

NOW ASSEMBLE.

Shred your meat once it’s perfectly tender. Drizzle peach chipotle sauce all over it. Top with cilantro and citrus slaw. Ideally you wrap this bad boy in a homemade corn tortilla but straight up on a fork works, too.

Danielle

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