Fried Crisp Pork with Chile-Peanut Sauce: Carnitas con Salsa Guajillo y Cacahuates

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 5 min
  • Prep: 35 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 30 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Salsa Guajillos y Cacahuates:

2 cups water

4 guajillos, stemmed and seeded

2 anchos, stemmed and seeded

5 chile de arbols, stemmed and seeded

1/4 pound tomatillos, husked

1 white onion, peeled and quartered

2 garlic cloves

3/4 cup roasted peanuts


2 1/2 cups cups water

10 bunches thyme

2 sprigs oregano

1 medium white onion, quartered

5 cloves garlic

2 pounds boneless pork butt diced into 1/2-inch pieces

2 pounds lard

Warm corn tortillas, as an accompaniment

Sliced radishes, as an accompaniment

Shredded lettuce, as an accompaniment 


  1. For the salsa: In a small saucepot, bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
  2. In a cast iron skillet, toast the chiles until they start to smoke and blister. Remove from the pan and place in a bowl and cover with boiling water.
  3. In the same cast iron skillet, toast the tomatillo, onion, and garlic until soft and they char a little.
  4. Put the soaked chiles, peanuts, onion, tomatillo, and garlic in a food processor with the chile water. Puree until smooth, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. For the carnitas: In a large stockpot, heat 2 1/2 cups of water with the thyme, oregano, white onion, garlic, and salt. When it comes to a boil add the diced pork butt and cook covered for 1 hour. Remove and drain.
  6. In a large Dutch oven, heat the lard. When lard is smoking, sear the pork to brown all sides. Remove and serve with warm tortillas, guajillo-peanut sauce, radishes, and shredded lettuce.