Jackfruit Carnitas

So I’ve had this can of jackfruit in brine sitting in my cupboard for several years. And I have this jar of rojo sauce from Penzeys that has been sitting in my cupboard for probably over a year. And I finally put the two together for one of the easiest, tastiest south of the border-esque meals.

I use “esque” because I’m not sure what authentic Méxican, Guatemalan, Nicaraguan, Venezuelan, Brazilian, etc. cuisine is. I live in Iowa. We have a lot of authentic Méxicans, Guatemalans, Nicaraguans, Salvadoreans, etc. here but I’m not sure how well they’re excellent food translates to the midwest and the local tastebuds. There are some good restaurants from these immigrants but they all seem rather Americanized. The only really great authentic stuff were the pupusas made down at the farmer’s market which I miss dearly. I still try to get the curtido when I’m down there, but no pupusas for me.

So I use the “esque” as a reminder that I know nothing of authentic cuisine. The only authentic food I make is my own and that of my family, which itself is Americanized Norwegian food and recipes gleaned from years of newspaper clippings and Good Housekeeping magazines. You think your grandma’s famous jello mold/peanut butter cookies/whatever she’s famous for are original? If so, great, but its much more likely that she found it in some form of media and maybe tweaked one item if anything. Its not a bad thing, its people making good food and somehow getting the credit for it. So much of what I make is exactly that, good food based on the recipes of someone else.

So tonight I opened cans, simmered, stirred, and assembled. In the end there were burritos with what I call carnitas — mostly because its a cool word and when I got the idea from the Vegan Housewife thats what she called them.

In my famished state I didn’t take a picture of the whole shebang – carnitas, beans, Tofutti sour cream, lettuce, and salsa. But here are the carnitas on their way to the fridge. They look particularly porky.


1 can of young jackfruit in brine (NOT syrup)

1 jar of Penzey’s rojo sauce (my bottle says soy lecithin, but maybe call and make sure since some bottles don’t say it)

Drain jackfruit and tear apart. Fry in a bit of oil until most of the moisture is gone. Season with a little salt and cumin. Pour on sauce and 1/4 c. water (I swirled the water in the empty sauce jar to get everything out of it). Simmer for at least an hour. Serve with fixins.


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