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Casuelitas & Carnitas

Recipe for masa cups filled with roasted pork carnitas

You can find this recipe at El Restaurante

Makes 12 servings

Recipe courtesy of The Idaho Potato Commission (

The Casuelitas:

4 oz. lard

4 c. masa harina flour for tamales

2 c. warm water

2 t. salt

2 t. baking powder

4 c. mashed Idaho® potatoes

4 c. queso quesadilla cheese, grated

1½ t. Twang Brand lime salt

2 t. salt

1 t. chipotle powder

2 t. garlic salt

Combine the lard, masa, salt and baking powder in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

Slowly add the warm water, mix well until the mixture is smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Shape the dough into cups. Fry at 375ºF until crisp.

Serve with either Shredded Pork Carnitas (recipe below) or roasted grilled vegetables with crumbled Mexican cotija cheese and garnished with chopped cilantro.

The Carnitas:

6 lbs. pork Boston butt (boneless)

1 each Sazon Goya seasoning

1 T. Mexican oregano

1 cu. blood orange juice

2 c. orange juice

1 c. lime juice

½ c. chopped garlic

4 c. canola oil

2 T. chipotle pepper powder

½ c. tomato paste olive oil

1 c. BBQ sauce

Trim pork shoulder, cut into 2" cubes. Combine remaining ingredients; marinate pork (refrigerated) overnight in this mixture.

    The next day, blot pork off. Preheat oven to 300ºF. Roast in a roasting pan with 1 cup of marinade for ½ hour; cover with parchment and then foil, add tomato paste mix well. Continue cooking 1 hour to 1½ hours until tender. Cool slightly, then shred with 2 forks. When all pork is shredded add juices from pan to shredded pork mix, mix well.

    At serving time: Lightly brown shredded pork in a little olive oil. Mix in the BBQ sauce.

    Season to taste and serve.

El Restaurante

El Restaurante magazine was founded in 1997, and is read by over 25,000 owners and managers of Mexican and Latin restaurants in the United States. The magazine is published five times per year by Maiden Name Press, LLC in Chicago, Illinois.

El Restaurante also publishes a monthly e-newsletter, eMex, and maintains the popular website

El Restaurante is edited by Kathleen Furore, a veteran journalist. She has been the editor since the magazine was founded. Kathleen can be reached at 708-267-0023 or

For advertising information, please contact publisher Ed Avis at or 708-218-7755.


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