30-Minute Carnitas

30-Minute Carnitas

TW purchased sopes the other night, and I’d never actually prepared them previously. . .I asked her what we were going to make with them, and she said, “I bought some pork chops, maybe we could just dice up the meat and put it on there with beans, tomatoes, cabbage. . .” I was dually perplexed:

1) I still don’t know how to make the sopes (easy, and thank you Cacique, they were pre-made, just needed to be fried) and

2) I’d never heard of ‘pork chop sopes.’

I wondered if I could make ersatz carnitas from these pork chops. I won’t say the recipe was perfect, but for a 30-minute excursion, they came out pretty awesome, and provided a nice topping for our sopes.



  • Pork Chops, 1/2″ thick
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 2 cups, EVOO
  • 1/2 cup, water
  • salt, to taste (the more you use, the more carnitas-y they’ll taste)
  • pepper, to taste
  • garlic powder, to taste
  • onion powder, to taste
  • 1 tbsp, red peppers
  • 1 tsp, cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig, thyme
  • 1 tbsp, cayenne
  • 2 tbsp, brown sugar


  • heat 1 cup oil in dutch oven until shimmering
  • layer pork chops in dutch oven
  • mix in all seasonings, reserving 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • cover and let fry for 7 minutes, then turn pork chops
  • add remaining EVOO and onions, preheat broiler on high
  • add more salt, brown sugar & water, let fry for another 8 minutes. pork chops will be tough – don’t fear.
  • remove pork chops ONLY, but keep the the liquid bubbling in dutch oven, on low
  • let pork chops cool and chop into bite-sized pieces
  • layer pieces on aluminum foil on baking sheet
  • drizzle pork pieces with liquid/onion mixture
  • place in broiler for 10-12 minutes, or until slightly charred and softened
  • eat with gusto!

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