Yes, I speak Nahuatl, the ancient tongue of the Aztecs. Do you? Well of course! You see, the word, chipotle, comes from Nahuatl (as does avocado) and we all deftly pronounce it these days. As for me, chipotle conjures up a vision of rustic, spicy, smoky mystery that is simply amazing in almost any dish. So when my son, Alex, suggested we make Chipotle Carnitas, I was all in! Four hours later, I was expecting a carnitas baby and plotting the perfect use of the abundant carnitas that remained – Chipotle Carnitas Hash.
Now I should mention that this particular hashcapade took place in Wyoming, in the very home in which I was raised by wolves, er, I mean my 5 siblings. Why? Because during the frigid Wyoming winters, we use the outdoors as a giant refrigerator. More precisely, we store beer, wine, leftover turkey, pies and other holiday goodies in the solarium adjoining Mom’s house. Protected from critters, except her cat, everything stays marvelously cold! That’s where we left the carnitas to remain steeped in its juicy goodness to await its destiny…
The next morning, we set the pot of carnitas on the stove and kept to a low simmer. In the meantime, I commenced the hashing and mincing of basic ingredients: Russet potatoes (unpeeled), onions, cilantro and garlic. Added to the pan in stages, I then set about crumbling the queso fresco and chopping the cilantro. Finally, I pulled the pork with a fork and added juices from the pan to add more flavor and keep it moist.
Expectations were high as Alex and Rachel watched me plate the hash – first the potato hash topped by forkfuls of carnitas, then sprinkles of queso fresco and cilantro, and then a fried egg plus more cheese & cilantro. We eagerly tucked into the hash and only one word could describe our collective approval – ¡Olé!
Further below is the recipe for the hash itself. A note on the actual carnitas recipe – don’t boil away all the juices, leave about 1/3 and skip roasting the carnitas. Flavor and moisture are your friends!
2 cloves garlic, minced