Beef Carnitas with Southwest Salsa

I recently bought a package of chuck steak, thinking I would use it for my baked steak recipe.  However when I opened it, I realized that the meat was cut extremely thin and would have to be used in a different way.  I decided to use it in a Mexican wrapped in a tortilla, kind of meal.  I started looking at recipes online and discovered Carnitas.  I’d heard the word, but not sure what it was.  If you don’t know, Carnitas are meats (usually pork) that have been braised or roasted.  Then, it is shredded and cooked in fat which creates a crispy meat with a tender center.

I used my chuck steak to make the Carnitas and then decided that I would also create a salsa to go with it.  I used corn, black beans, and tomatoes as the base and then a balsamic vinegar & lime dressing that gave the vegetables great flavor and went well with the meat.  I served the Carnitas and Corn Salsa on a warm flour tortilla and topped with sour cream.  So good!

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This was the recipe that was adapted from The Homesick Texan Cookbook.  When I made it, I did 1/3 of everything because my mistaken package of chuck steak was just 1 pound.  Also, though a true Carnita is fried in the end, I didn’t do that extra step.  I just used the extremely tender beef as it was after the liquid had cooked out.


  • 3 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 2” pieces
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • Flour tortillas, Southwest Salsa & sour cream for serving


Place the pork in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot.

Add the orange juice, lime juice, garlic, cumin, salt and enough water to just barely cover the meat.

Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer.

Simmer uncovered for two hours.

After two hours, increase the heat to medium-high and continue to cook until all of the liquid has evaporated.

Adjust seasonings to taste and serve on warmed tortillas with fixings.


Southwest Salsa

Is it a salsa or is it salad?  I’m not sure what to call this recipe or if it even matters.  Whatever it is, the flavors went really well with the Beef Carnitas!  The balsamic vinegar & lime dressing really gives a unique kick of flavor.

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Ingredients :

  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1/4 of medium chopped onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper (red or green)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped jalapeno pepper
  • 1 cup or more cherry tomatoes, halved


  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Pinch ground cumin


In medium bowl, combine corn, beans, onion, garlic, peppers, and tomatoes.

In a small bowl, mix together balsamic vinegar, oil, lime juice, salt, sugar, black pepper, and cumin..

Toss vegetables with dressing.

Cover and refrigerate.