My old hometown, where I spent most all of my adult years, was a small enough place to have a bunch of secrets. The city where I live now is either too big to have them, or I am too much of a newcomer to know any of them. But my old town had tons: secret speakeasies where people danced and drank, only accessible by a secret alley door or a phone call made in advance. Secret gardens, made from empty lots between houses, gated and unkempt, but with chairs for resting. And my favorite and most well kept secret place: Secret Carnitas.
Secret Carnitas (not its real name) was a family run restaurant open only on weekends, during their free time. Every weekend, they’d turn one whole pig into the most delicious carnitas I’d ever had, serving it with salsa diabla, (a kind of salsa made with oil, garlic, and dried chiles,) tortillas, cabbage, and pickled vegetables. You went up to the counter and purchased heaping piles of carnitas by the pound on paper plates, family style, then you and your friends piled into a single booth and stuffed your faces until every last shred of cabbage was gone.
Those were the days! I miss that place, and I missed carnitas for years until I started finding it here and there throughout the city. Certain regional Mexican grocery stores here make it really well, and we’ve even been able to find it prepared in our favorite chain grocer, too.
If you see it, grab it, and make these carnitas tacos, made lighter with flatbread shells that you bake up crisp in the oven, or kept soft, depending on your preference. Everyone will ask for your recipe, I promise you, but it can be your secret.
Amy at Flatout
2-3 Flatout Foldit flatbreads
Sriracha hot sauce
4-6 ounces of pre-cooked carnitas
1/3 chopped cilantro
1/3 cup chopped white onion
Cut Foldit flatbreads in half down the middle, brush with Sriracha, and prepare in the oven for spicy crisp tacos. (embed video) In a skillet, heat the carnitas with a little olive oil, breaking up the chunks of pork into smaller chunks or even shreds. Pile inside inside flatbread shells, top with cilantro, onion, and a squeeze of lime.