Countertop Creations: Pork Carnitas

by | Oct 26, 2022 | Countertop Creations

Photo by Liz Chrisman

This month’s recipes are provided by ATU seniors Debra Pack and Dillion Pagach. Both are pursuing Bachelors of Science in Hospitality Administration with food service management emphasis. Both recipes would be great for a fall get-together or just hanging out at home!

Pork Carnitas
Recipe courtesy of senior Debra Pack

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 3 hrs 40 mins
Total Time: 3 hrs 55 mins


    • 3 pounds boneless pork butt (shoulder)
    • 8 cloves garlic, peeled
    • ¼ cup olive oil
    • 1 orange, juiced, orange parts of peel removed and sliced into thin strips
    • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
    • 2 bay leaves, torn in half
    • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • ½ teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder


    1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C).
    2. Remove fat from pork; cut pork meat into 2-inch cubes and roughly chop fat.
    3. Mix pork, garlic, olive oil, orange peel, orange juice, salt, bay leaves, black pepper, cumin, cinnamon, and 5-spice powder
      together in a bowl until pork is coated completely. Transfer mixture to a 9×13-inch baking dish. Place baking dish on a baking
      sheet and cover baking dish tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
    4. Bake in the preheated oven until pork is fork-tender, about 3 1/2 hours.
    5. Set oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source and preheat the oven’s broiler.
Serving Suggestions:
Shred some on a warm tortilla, drizzle with braising liquid, top with a little salsa, onion, and cilantro, and you’re probably enjoying the world’s best taco.

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers
Recipe courtesy senior Dillion Pagach


    • 12 jalapeno peppers approximately 3-4 inches long 
    • 1 8 ounce block cream cheese, softened 
    • 1 cup cheddar cheese
    • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder 
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper 
    • 12 slices bacon (do not use thick cut)
    • cooking spray


    1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with foil and coat it with cooking spray.
    2. Cut the jalapenos in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and ribs.
    3. In a medium bowl mix together the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, onion powder, salt and pepper.
    4. Fill each jalapeno half with the cheese mixture.
    5. Cut the slices of bacon in half crosswise and wrap each pepper half in a slice of bacon, using a toothpick to secure the bacon.
    6. Arrange the peppers on the baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes until bacon is crispy and browned. Serve immediately

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