My family enjoys Mexican food, especially tacos and fajitas, so Aldi’s Special Buy Fresh Meat Special for carnitas caught my eye recently.
The Prairie Fresh Prime Boneless Pork Shoulder Roast with Carnitas Seasonings is sold unfrozen in the fresh meat section. This pork shoulder roast comes in a plastic bag containing its own marinade consisting of salt, granulated onion, dehydrated red bell pepper, sugar, garlic, chilies, lemon and lime juice, chipotle powder, and cilantro, and a few other ingredients.
The cooking instructions are novel. The pork carnitas cook in the bag. You preheat your oven to 400 degrees, remove the sticker labels from the package, and cut a small slit on a spot marked on the bag. Place the package with the vent hole side up on a baking sheet on your oven’s center rack. Cook for three hours. During cooking, the package will balloon and turn brown. Your house will smell delicious while this cooks.
Carefully remove the baking sheet with package from the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes. With scissors, cut the package open and carefully remove the pork shoulder. When it is cool enough to handle (after 20 to 25 minutes), shred or slice, and serve.
The company that sells this pork, Prairie Fresh Premium Pork, advertises that this product cooks in less time compared to traditional methods. It also requires no direct contact with the raw meat, for added food safety. Carnitas literally means “little meats,” and it’s a Mexican dish typically served in tortillas with toppings like onions, cilantro, salsa, guacamole, and refried beans. My family ate this with flour tortillas, salsa, sour cream, diced tomatoes, and shredded cheese. The meat is very tender and, while while I found it to be a little on the salty side, my family enjoyed it. (My husband, by the way, loved it and said it was better than carnitas he had tried at some restaurants.)
Aldi’s Prairie Fresh Prime Boneless Pork Shoulder Roast with Carnitas Seasonings is a winner. This meat roasts nicely in your oven (inside its own plastic bag) for three hours until it is very tender, then is shredded and served in tacos or fajitas. It is a bit salty but otherwise makes a good meal. Recommended.