Tandoori Carnitas Tacos
I'm a big fan of playing around with Indian and Mexican flavors in a dish. Indian spices combined with Mexican style meats make a killer combination. Here's a pretty simple carnitas recipe using tandoori masala as a rub on thick cuts of pork shoulder. By cooking the pork in a sous vide bath and then finishing on the grill later, you can get the interior insanely juicy while also achieving some serious crispy exterior. I learned this particular method from Kenji Lopez at Serious Eats and it really works great. Another added benefit to using sous vide here is that you can cook the pork ahead of time and immediately throw it into an ice bath and then keep it cold until you're ready to crack some Modelos and light up that grill for the party.
Prep Time: 00:15
Recipe Time: 24:00
150F / 65.6C
- Whole pork shoulder, about 5-6 lbs - cut into thick slabs
- 1 box of tandoori bbq masala (you can find in an Indian/International grocery store)
- 1 onion, quartered
- 12 garlic cloves
- 2 bay leaf
- Tortillas of your choice
- Limes, for serving
- Taco toppings of your choice (e.g. Cilantro, onion, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, sour cream/yogurt, cheese, etc.)
- Set your Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker to 150ºF / 65.6ºC
- Make sure your pork cuts are about 2" thick. I like to buy a whole bone-in pork shoulder (it's cheaper bone-in!) and cut it down myself. The area with the shoulder bone will be thicker than 2" and that's ok. Alternatively, you can ask your butcher to cut the shoulder down into 2" slabs for you.
- Season the slabs liberally with the Tandoori BBQ Masala.
- Place the seasoned pork in a bag. Divide them equally into separate bags if you need to. Add the onion, garlic, and bay leaf into the bags. Seal the bag and place into the water bath for 24 hours.
Finish on a HOT charcoal or gas grill
- After the cook, remove the pork pieces from the bag and set aside. Pour the juices from the bag into a bowl to be used later to re-moisten the pork when serving.
- Turn your grill on high and close it for about 10 minutes until really hot. Make sure your grill grates are oiled and ready to go. Sear all sides of the pork slabs on the grill until they get browned and crispy.
- Once the pork is cool enough to handle, use your hands or two forks to shred the pork apart into pieces in a large bowl.
- Just before serving, pour and mix the reserved juices into the pork. Serve with tortillas and toppings of choice.