Salsa Verde Carnitas

Carnitas are the perfect solution for a satisfying, tasty, simple, make-ahead meal that can be served family style to a large or small group.  It was going to be a busy day and no time to do a fancy plated lunch on Green Flash like normal.  So... Salsa Verde Carnitas was my answer!  And... it's the week of Cindo de Mayo! 

We were approached by Santa Barbara Life and Style magazine to do a photo shoot for them on Green Flash out at Santa Cruz Island.  Of course we accepted and are very excited to be a part of this beautiful publication.  You will be able to see the spread in their June/July issue. 

We gathered at the Santa Barbara Harbor at 6:30 am and shoved off the dock at about 7 with the editor/publisher, a photographer and assistant, two make-up and hair gals and two beautiful models and lots and lots of stuff.  They were an impressive group of young professionals, all under the age of 30.  

The photographer, Chris DeLorenzo, is only 21.  I was blown away by this.  He was so professional, passionate about his career, incredibly talented and just a great guy.  You can check out his website or follow him on Instagram.  

Green Flash was quickly transformed into a photo shoot production set.

It was amazing to see what goes into these shoots.  The preparation was going on the whole way out.  Fortunately it was a calm morning.

We even had some dolphins along for the ride.

I loved catching this moment of the two models taking a selfie.

Otto (in the middle), the Editor and Publisher of the magazine, was busy making clothing and jewelry selections.  She had a great eye for the styling.  The master suite turned into a full blown dressing room.

The models, Regina Schnitzer, originally from Israel and Marina Laswick, originally from Toronto, were taking a little break.  These girls work hard. I have a whole new respect.  Not to mention all the traveling they have to do and to be at the mercy of their agencies.

Hubby chose the anchorage Cueva Valdez as our backdrop.  It's just so dramatic with the caves and all.

This is just a little preview of some of the shots.  I can't wait to see Chris's images.  It was fun to watch how he worked with the models.  He knew exactly what he was after.  He had to coach them very little.  These girls could really work it.  Each model did seven different looks and outfits.  That's a lot of changing!  

Of course, the hair styles had to change as well with each new outfit.

Everyone worked up an appetite and definitely earned their lunch. Then it was back to work.  By late afternoon, Chris and Otto were  satisfied with all they accomplished.  It was a successful day so it was time to head back to Santa Barbara.

I promise next post I'll have more pictures of the food and preparation. It was a busy day!  

This meal can easily be made ahead.  I like to double the Roasted Tomatillo Salsa recipe and save half to serve on the side.  To make it a creamy Salsa, simply add an Avocado in the blender.

Salsa Verde Carnitas

Recipe Type:  Entree

Serves:  6-8 (approx.)


  • 3 1/2 lb Pork Shoulder or Butt (a little larger if bone-in)
  • 2 C Salsa Verde (recipe below)
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 3 C Chicken Stock
  • 2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 2 tsp Coriander Seeds
  • 1 T Fresh Oregano, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1/2 C Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • Salt
  • 16 Corn Tortillas, wrapped in foil and heated in oven
  • 1/4 Head of Green Cabbage, sliced thinly
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Seasoned Rice Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 C Queso Fresco, crumbled or Monterey Jack Cheese, grated
  • Mexican Crema or Sour Cream
  • Cilantro for garnish


  1. Trim off the excess fat from the roast.
  2. Place the meat in a heavy pan or Dutch oven.
  3. Add the Salsa Verde, Onion, Stock, Cumin and Coriander Seeds and Oregano.
  4. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat, cover and simmer.  When the meat is very tender when pierced, about 3 hours, it is done.
  5. Can also be cooked in an oven at 300° for about 3 hours or in a crock pot on low for 6 to 8 hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 400°.  
  7. Remove meat from liquid in pot and put the meat in a roasting pan.
  8. With 2 forks, shred the meat into large pieces.
  9. Roast meat for 15 to 20 minutes until parts are brown and crispy.
  10. While the meat is roasting, remove the liquid in the casserole pan.
  11. Boil the juices, stirring until reduced to 2 1/2 cups, about 10 minutes.
  12. Return the meat to the pan.
  13. Stir in chopped Cilantro.
  14. Season with Salt

Seasoned Cabbage Slaw

  1. Thinly slice Cabbage and place in a medium bowl.
  2. Sprinkle on Olive Oil, Seasoned Rice Vinegar, Salt and Pepper. If you only have unseasoned Rice Vinegar, simply add a pinch of Sugar. Or you can substitute Apple Cider Vinegar or Red Wine Vinegar with a pinch of Sugar.
  3. Toss.
  4. Season to taste.  Let sit for 10 minutes or so for the Cabbage to absorb some of the dressing and to soften.

Serve with heated Corn Torillas, sliced Avocado, crumbled Queso Fresco or grated Monterey Jack Cheese, Mexican Crema or Sour Cream, Seasoned Cabbage Slaw, Roasted Tomatillo Salsa, Cilantro, roughly chopped, and sliced Limes.

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa


  • 16 oz (approx. 8 medium) Tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 2 Jalapeños, stemmed
  • 4 large Garlic Cloves, peeled
  • 12 sprigs of Fresh Cilantro, stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 2 small White Onions, cut into several wedges
  • Salt


  1. Roast the Tomatillos, Jalapeños, Onion wedges and Garlic on a rimmed baking sheet below a very hot broiler until dark and softened, turning once or twice.  You may need to remove the Garlic first.  Don't let the Garlic burn or it will taste bitter.
  2. Cool.
  3. Slice Jalapeños in half and remove seeds for a milder Salsa.
  4. Transfer all to a blender including the juices from the Tomatillos.
  5. Add the Cilantro and about 1/2 C of water and blend to a course puree.
  6. Season with Salt to taste.