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Got Leftover Carnitas? Here’s A Recipe For That!

Anytime I make this amazing pork carnitas, traditional American BBQ pulled pork, brisket, etc. there are always leftovers. Not being one to waste food, I vacuum seal and freeze leftovers for later. But, when later comes, there’s a lack of leftover carnitas recipes floating around.

That changes now. In this recipe I’ll show you what to do with that flavorful pork. I’m using the leftover pork from my grilled carnitas recipe, but this will work with slow cooker pork carnitas recipes, leftover BBQ pulled pork, and yes, even left over brisket.

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How Do You Reheat Pork Carnitas?

This really depends on what you plan to do with the leftover carnitas meat. If you want to use it in a taco for example, I highly recommend using a sous vide cooker to warm it up. Reheating in sous vide allows the meat to warm without drying out.

If you don’t have a sous vide machine, try a large mixing bowl of 170°F water. Then, submerge your sealed bag of pork in the water and allow it to warm for 10-15 minutes.

For most leftover carnitas recipes, if submersion reheating isn’t possible, follow the directions below for reheating and making the pork moist.

leftover carnitas recipes with cilantro

How Do You Make Dry Pork Moist Again?

This has happened to all of us. What was once moist and juicy pork comes out of the freezer sort of dry. How do you fix dry pork?

It’s actually really simple. In a skillet, heat up some chicken stock over medium high heat. How much chicken stock depends on how much leftover carnitas you’re reheating.

leftover carnitas taquitos in guacamole

Then, turn off the heat and place the pork in the warm stock. Allow it to reabsorb some of the moisture for about 90 seconds before serving. This is also a great way to reheat pork for these pork carnitas taquitos.

How To Keep Taquitos From Unrolling

This couldn’t be easier and I didn’t start doing it till five or six years ago. The secret is using very warm tortillas, minimal leftover carnitas, and kitchen glue. Well, it’s not actually glue; it’s a mixture of flour and water but it acts as a glue.

The tortillas have to be really warm, or they will crack when you try to roll them tight. I prefer to roll taquitos as tight as possible so they are fairly narrow when fried. I’ve seen some taquitos that are so thick they basically look like fried burritos.

taquito dipped in guacamole

That isn’t my preference, these should be thin, crunchy and you should be able to eat a half dozen without feeling stuffed.

In any case, as you’re rolling the taquito, brush on some of the flour and water mixture to the inside of the tortilla. Then finish rolling tight and set them aside, seam side down. As the taquito cools the “glue” will set and the shape will hold.

Pork Taquito Ingredients

Pork: Leftover carnitas is perfect for these. Either from a slow cooker or from my grilled carnitas recipe.
Cilantro: Mixing the pork with a good amount of finely chopped cilantro brings a fresh flavor to the pork.
Red Onions: Red onions are mild in flavor but add a subtle sweetness to the pork that’s really enjoyable.

pile of taquitos on a blue plate with cilantro

How To Make Carnitas Taquitos

Serves: 2 | Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 15 mins

Ingredients
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups carnitas meat, warm
12 6″ corn tortillas
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 tbsp water
3/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, minced

Step 1: Heat tortillas in the microwave on reheat setting (70% power) for one to two minutes. I like to use a tortilla warmer, but if you don’t have one you can loosely wrap them in a clean kitchen towel.

Step 2: While tortillas are warming, mix together the flour and water and set near the taquito assembly area.

Step 3: Working quickly while the tortillas are warm, place equal portions of pork, cilantro and red onions in a thin line on the tortilla. Roll tightly and add a strip about two inches wide of the flour and water mixture. Finish rolling and set aside, seam side down.

Step 4: Add the oil to a frying pan and place it over medium heat. Using a reliable quick read thermometer, heat the oil to 350°F.

Step 5: Working in batches of 4-6, place the taquitos seam side down in the hot oil and allow them to fry. After one minute, roll them over and fry on all sides.

Step 6: Remove taquitos from oil and place on a paper towel to absorb excess oil. Serve while hot.

leftover carnitas taquitos on a blue plate

Pork Carnitas Taquitos

5 from 5 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Vegetable oil
  • 2 cups carnitas meat warm
  • 12 6" corn tortillas warm
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp water
  • ¾ cup cilantro chopped
  • ½ cup red onion minced

Instructions

  • Heat tortillas in the microwave on reheat setting (70% power) for one to two minutes. I like to use a tortilla warmer, but if you don't have one you can loosely wrap them in a clean kitchen towel.
  • While tortillas are warming, mix together the flour and water and set near the taquito assembly area.
  • Working quickly while the tortillas are warm, place equal portions of pork, cilantro and red onions in a thin line on the tortilla. Roll tightly and add a strip about two inches wide of the flour and water mixture. Finish rolling and set aside, seam side down.
  • Add the oil to a frying pan and place it over medium heat. Using a reliable quick read thermometer, heat the oil to 350°F.
  • Working in batches of 4-6, place the taquitos seam side down in the hot oil and allow them to fry. After one minute, start to roll them over and fry on all sides.
  • Remove from oil and place on a paper towel to absorb excess oil. Serve while hot.

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