For the casuelitas:
4 oz. lard
4 cups masa harina flour for tamales
2 cups warm water
2 tsps. salt
2 tsps. baking powder
4 cups prepared mashed potatoes
4 cups queso quesadilla cheese, grated
1 ½ tsps. lime salt
2 tsps. salt
1 tsp. chipotle powder
2 tsps. garlic salt
For the carnitas:
6 lbs. pork, Boston butt, boneless
1 packet Latin seasoning combination, such as Sazon Goya
1 Tbsp. Mexican oregano
1 cup blood orange juice
2 cups orange juice
1 cup lime juice
½ cup chopped garlic
4 cups canola oil
2 Tbsps. chipotle pepper powder
½ cup tomato paste
olive oil, as needed
1 cup prepared BBQ sauce
1. For the casuelitas: Combine 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 casuelitas ingredients; mix well.
2. Shape dough into cups; fry at 375°F until crisp. Serve with either shredded pork carnitas (recipe follows) or roasted grilled vegetables with crumbled Mexican Cotija cheese and garnished with chopped cilantro.
3. For the carnitas: Trim pork, cut into 2” cubes. Combine remaining ingredients and marinate pork (refrigerated) overnight in this mixture.
4. Next day: Blot pork off. Preheat oven to 300°F.
5. Roast pork in a roasting pan with 1 cup of the marinade for ½ hour. Add tomato paste and mixing well into the juices. Cover with parchment paper, then foil, and continue cooking 1 hour to 1 ½ more hours or until tender.
6. Cool slightly then shred with two forks. When all pork is shredded, add juices from pan to shredded pork; mix well.
7. At serving time, lightly brown shredded pork in a little olive oil. Mix in BBQ sauce, season to taste and add to casuelitas to serve.
Photo and recipe: Idaho Potato Commission