Supermarket Carnitas Look Gross, Taste Great

Categories: Brody, Food Find

It's waiting for you, down that aisle you never venture into.
​SFoodie bumped into this in an area of the supermarket we usually avoid, the zone where precooked meats like ribs and pot roast of the Hormel and Tyson variety lurk. But one weekend when we were far from the Mission, wandering Safeway and wondering what to have for dinner, we saw a package of Del Real carnitas. We took a chance.

Stripped of its glistening Cryovac plastic, the meat didn't look very promising; ditto when we released it from its taut plastic. But after only a few minutes in a nonstick pan (it comes with sufficient pig fat, so no additional oil or butter is needed), we had wonderful-smelling, appetizing-looking, moist, and amazingly delicious carnitas with the crisp edges we crave. If you prefer braised carnitas, chunk up the meat and steam above simmering water -- voila! (It comes with microwave instructions, too, but so far we've managed very nicely without that particular appliance, thanks.)

M. Brody
Microwave at risk to your soul.
​Del Real carnitas has just about replaced spaghetti aglio e olio as the lazy girl's supper chez nous. We like to roll hunks in tortillas with pico de gallo, corn relish, sour cream, and just about an equal weight of cilantro. We also like it fried, for breakfast or supper, with a couple of over-easy eggs, refried beans, and again, lots o' cilantro. Where we shop, it costs $7.49 a pound, and a single package is enough to feed four very nicely.

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