homemade carnitas

Homemade Carnitas with Pickled Veggies

I think I saw something similar to this dish on a late-night episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, and have been wanting to recreate it for several months now.  This week, I was able to pick up these fresh Vietnamese rolls from Bountiful Baskets, and thought these would be the perfect vessel for homemade carnitas with pickled veggies. 

I also used the fruit I received in my basket to flavor the homemade carnitas, and the cucumbers and carrots for the pickled veggies!  

This sandwich is definitely upscale and packs a ton of flavor into each bite.  This would be a wonderful treat if you were having company over lunch! It also makes a filling dinner, served alongside from homemade french fries

It’s a little involved, and the homemade carnitas take quite a while to prepare, but once you get the hang of it, it’s fairly easy to pull together.  I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does! 

homemade carnitas with pickled veggiesHomemade Carnitas with Pickled Veggies on a Vietnamese Roll

For the Carnitas

  • 3 to 4 pound pork shoulder roast 
  • 2 tsp salt 
  • 1.5 tsp freshly cracked pepper 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 ounces Corona beer (or another Mexican beer)
  • One orange 
  • One lime 

For the Pickled Veggies

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 cup baby carrots 
  • 1 onion 
  • 3 jalapenos (optional)
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds

For the sandwich

  • 8 hoagie or Vietnamese rolls 
  • 8 tablespoons of butter

For the Carnitas

Season pork shoulder with salt and pepper.  Warm olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Brown all sides of the pork shoulder, remove and place in the crock-pot.  Add onions and garlic on top of the pork shoulder.  Deglaze the pan with the beer, scraping all the bits and seasoning off the bottoms and side. Pour beer mixture over the pork roast. 

Grate the zest and then juice the orange and the lime, and add it to the crock-pot.  Cook on high for 5 hours.  

One hour before the cooking ends, remove the pork shoulder from the crock-pot and shred using two forks. Return shredded pork shoulder to the crock-pot for remaining hour. 

For the Pickled Veggies

Bring a small pot of water to a boil.  Peel the cucumber, remove the skin from the onion, and remove the stem and seeds from the jalapenos. Cut the veggies into thin, long strips.  Add veggies to the water, and blanch for 2 – 4 minutes.  Remove from the boiling water, and transfer immediately into a medium bowl of ice water. Once cooled, strain the vegetables and return to a medium bowl. 

In the same small pot, combine 2 cups of vinegar with 2 cups of water, and add in the salt, sugar, peppercorns and coriander seeds.  Bring to a boil, and pour brine over vegetables.  Refrigerate 4 hours before using. 

To Assemble the Sandwich

Split the rolls, and spread with 1 tablespoon of butter on each roll.  Broil in the oven to lightly brown the bread.  

Pile on the homemade carnitas with a slotted spoon, then drizzle a few spoonfuls of the juice from the crock-pot on top.  Then top with pickled veggies.  

After all that hard work, it’s time to dig in! 

carnitas sandwiches

Homemade Carnitas with Pickled Veggies on a Vietnamese Roll
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Lunch
Serves: 8 sandwiches
Ingredients
For the Carnitas
  • 3 to 4 pound pork shoulder roast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp freshly cracked pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 ounces Corona beer (or another Mexican beer)
  • One orange
  • One lime
For the Pickled Veggies
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 3 jalapenos (optional)
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • ¼ cup salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
For the sandwich
  • 8 hoagie or Vietnamese rolls
  • 8 tablespoons of butter
Instructions
For the Carnitas
  1. Season pork shoulder with salt and pepper. Warm olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Brown all sides of the pork shoulder, remove and place in the crock-pot. Add onions and garlic on top of the pork shoulder. Deglaze the pan with the beer, scraping all the bits and seasoning off the bottoms and side. Pour beer mixture over the pork roast.
  2. Grate the zest and then juice the orange and the lime, and add it to the crock-pot. Cook on high for 5 hours.
  3. One hour before the cooking ends, remove the pork shoulder from the crock-pot and shred using two forks. Return shredded pork shoulder to the crock-pot for remaining hour.
For the Pickled Veggies
  1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Peel the cucumber, remove the skin from the onion, and remove the stem and seeds from the jalapenos. Cut the veggies into thin, long strips. Add veggies to the water, and blanch for 2 - 4 minutes. Remove from the boiling water, and transfer immediately into a medium bowl of ice water. Once cooled, strain the vegetables and return to a medium bowl.
  2. In the same small pot, combine 2 cups of vinegar with 2 cups of water, and add in the salt, sugar, peppercorns and coriander seeds. Bring to a boil, and pour brine over vegetables. Refrigerate 4 hours before using.
To Assemble the Sandwich
  1. Split the rolls, and spread with 1 tablespoon of butter on each roll. Broil in the oven to lightly brown the bread.
  2. Pile on the homemade carnitas with a slotted spoon, then drizzle a few spoonfuls of the juice from the crock-pot on top. Then top with pickled veggies.

homemade carnitas sandwiches with pickled veggies

Do you love homemade carnitas?  What is your favorite way to eat carnitas? 



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3 Responses to Homemade Carnitas with Pickled Veggies on a Vietnamese Roll

  1. Susan says:

    It’s lunch time and I’m eating a pb&j. Guess what I’d rather be having for lunch?! Your sandwich is so gorgeous I can imagine how delicious it is, too.

  2. Corinne says:

    The combination of flavors in this recipe sounds amazing! I think my entire family is going to love this. Thank you for sharing it.

  3. Cynthia L says:

    For many years, I lived in the Texas/New Mexico region. I love all things Mexican food! This recipe sounds delicious and I love that it is made in the slow cooker Great for those busy days!

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