Faith Gorsky

Peanut Butter Beef Carnitas

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One way I like to keep dinner fresh and exciting is by combining ideas from different cuisines around the world. Carnitas, which is classic Mexican fare, is made by braising meat until it’s so tender it falls apart when you go to cut into it. Instead of using traditional Mexican spices to flavor my carnitas, here I went with ingredients reminiscent of a Thai curry.

A nice balance of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy, the flavorful peanut butter sauce literally makes this dish. Mango salsa provides bursts of fresh flavor and a nice sweet contrast to the sauce, and crushed peanuts on top add texture. I served my Peanut Butter Beef Carnitas open-face on toasted slices of sourdough bread, but of course you can roll it in any kind of flatbread you like or even serve it on a bed of rice. It’s fusion food at its finest.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours and 10 minutes
Total time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Yield: 8 servings

Peanut Butter Carnitas

Ingredients

Peanut Butter Carnitas ingredients Peanut Butter & Co. Old Fashioned Smooth peanut butter

For the Peanut Butter Beef Carnitas
3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
2 cups water
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 1/2 pounds beef chuck steak, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 4 or 5 large pieces
1 medium-large onion, halved and sliced
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup Old Fashioned Smooth peanut butter

For the Mango Salsa
1 small white onion, diced
1 ripe mango, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon coconut palm sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Peanut Butter Carnitas - ingredients

Peanut Butter Carnitas - ingredients

Other
8 slices (or 16 if they’re smaller) sourdough bread, toasted
1/4 cup Jumbo Salted Peanuts, crushed

Directions

1. For the Peanut Butter Beef Carnitas, whisk together the Thai red curry paste, soy sauce, fish sauce, rice vinegar, coconut palm sugar, ginger, crushed red pepper flakes, and water in a medium bowl and set aside.

Peanut Butter Carnitas - whisk together the Thai red curry paste, soy sauce, fish sauce, rice vinegar, coconut palm sugar, ginger, crushed red pepper flakes, and water

2. Heat the coconut oil in a 5-quart pot over medium-high to high heat. Once hot, add the meat and brown on both sides, about 3 to 5 minutes. (Cook the meat in batches, if necessary, so the pan isn’t overcrowded.) Add the onion and garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally.

Peanut Butter Carnitas - add the meat and brown on both sides

3. Add the Thai red curry paste mixture, cover the pot, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer (covered) until the meat is very tender and easy to shred with a fork, about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. (Add water if necessary so the pan doesn’t get too dry.) Use a slotted spoon to transfer the meat to a dish.

4. Whisk the peanut butter into the sauce remaining in the bottom of the pot. Bring to a simmer, and then turn the heat off; pour all but 1/2 cup of sauce out of the pot. (Serve the extra sauce along with the carnitas for drizzling on top.)

5. Shred the meat with 2 forks and return it to the pot with the 1/2 cup of sauce; heat briefly to re-warm. Taste and add salt if desired.

Peanut Butter Carnitas - Shred the meat with 2 forks

Peanut Butter Carnitas - return it to the pot with the 1/2 cup of sauce

6. For the Mango Salsa, stir together all ingredients, cover, and refrigerate until serving. (Make this while the meat is cooking.)

Peanut Butter Carnitas - For the Mango Salsa, stir together all ingredients

7. To serve, top a slice of toasted sourdough bread with beef carnitas, drizzle peanut sauce on top, and then add a spoonful of salsa and a sprinkling of crushed peanuts.

Peanut Butter Carnitas - top a slice of toasted sourdough bread with beef carnitas, drizzle peanut sauce on top, and then add a spoonful of salsa and a sprinkling of crushed peanuts

PEANUT BUTTER GIVEAWAY

What other kinds of fusion dishes would you like to see us make?

Leave a comment below with your answer to enter for a chance at winning a jar of of Old Fashioned Smooth, the peanut butter used in this recipe.

DETAILS:

– The giveaway is open to USA residents only and will run until Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 at 11:59 PM EST.
– One entry per person.
– Winner(s) will be generated via a random number generator and notified via the contact email provided on the comment form.
– Winner(s) will have until 9/9/15 to claim their prize or we will choose another winner.
– Winner will win one jar of Old Fashioned Smooth peanut butter. Product will be shipped by Peanut Butter & Co.
– No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Must be 18 years of age to enter. See Official Giveaway Rules.

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9 Responses to Peanut Butter Beef Carnitas

  1. Judith says:

    I’d love to see some Middle Easter food!

  2. Kelli says:

    I’d like to see peanut butter incorporated into Greek food – peanut butter tzaziki?

  3. Sarah says:

    More Asian or Thai foods that are gluten free and dairy free would be yummy!!!!

  4. Susan P. says:

    I’d like to see a fusion of Caribbean and Asian with seafood – maybe fish and shrimp.

  5. Amy L says:

    I’d like to see a recipe for an Asian rice bowl with peanut butter

  6. Marica Taylor says:

    The first thing that comes to mind is a Canadian peanut butter and bacon poutine.

  7. Amy Z. says:

    I’d love to see an Indian-inspired dish – like peanut butter in a curry recipe!

  8. Julie Blatt says:

    Tropical Fruit Kabob with a peanut sauce!

  9. Kristine says:

    I’d like to see a vegan recipe that is Indian or Asian inspired.

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Peanut Butter Beef Carnitas