Carnitas Caliente

Ancho (Ahn-cho) Chile (Capsicum Annum) means Wide Chile Pepper. This chile ranges from 3 – 4 on a heat scale of 1 to 10. An Ancho is the dried form of a Poblano Pepper and often is mislabeled as a Pasilla or Mulato Pepper. Anchos have sweet fruity flavor with hints of cherry, prune, and fig. Anchos, combined with the Pasilla and Guajillo, form the Holy Trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces. Scoville heat units are 1,000 to 3,000.

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3 Tbsp. ground ancho chile
1 Tbsp. ground chipotle chile
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3/4 tsp. salt
1 to 1-1/2 pounds boneless pork, trimmed of the fat and cut into 1″ cubes


Combine all the spices and cilantro together in a bowl and mix well. Rub the pork cubes with the mixture and marinate the meat at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 300F.

Place the pork cubes on a rack over a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 1-1/2 hours or until the meat is quite crisp. Pour off any fat as it accumulates.

Serve the carnitas as an appetizer, with warm corn tortillas and a choice of salsas, guacamole, and/or sour cream for toppings.

Recipe from Dave Dewitt.

Yields 6 servings as an appetizer.