Beef Carnitas with Carrot-Onion Quick Pickle
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Test Kitchen Approved Recipe

Winter means slow-cooked meals, hearty flavors and…barbecue? That’s right. With this recipe, you can enjoy smoky carnitas from the comfort of your kitchen using selections from our BBQ & Grilling Collection. Top with crunchy pickled veggies and you’ve got a dish that’s a cold weather comfort food game-changer.

4 to 6 servings


  • For carnitas:

  • 1 1/2 lbs. flank steak
  • Pinches of salt & pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. Black Hills BBQ Seasoning, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. Mexican Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup beef broth or water
  • For serving: Tortillas or rice, sour cream, black olives, cilantro
  • For quick pickle:

  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. Mexican Oregano
  • 2 to 3 carrots, cut into thin matchsticks (about 2 cups)
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 0 cup Black Hills BBQ Seasoning

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Vegetarian/Vegan: See our recipe for Black Hills Veggie Fajitas.


For carnitas: Cut steak into 2 to 3 pieces. Season all over with pinches of salt & pepper, then rub generously with 2 Tbsp. of the Black Hills to coat. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or large saute pan with a lid. Add seasoned steak pieces and cook about 2 min. per side until browned. Transfer browned steak to a plate. Add onion, bell peppers, jalapeño, garlic, oregano, and salt to pot. Cook for 2 min., stirring to scrape up any steak drippings. Set steak on top of veggies. Pour in broth. If necessary, add water 1/4 cup at a time so liquid almost covers steak. Bring to a boil then reduce to a low simmer. Cover and cook for about 3 hours, or until steak is tender enough to pull apart with a fork. (Slow cooker version: Set seasoned steak on top of veggies and broth in slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours, or until meat tender enough pull apart with a fork.)

For quick pickle: While carnitas cook, bring vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and oregano to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. Set veggies in a glass bowl. Pour hot liquid over veggies. Let cool to room temperature (or chill in refrigerator) before serving.

To assemble: Remove steak pieces from sauce and use two forks to shred. If desired, transfer shredded steak to a skillet and sear over medium-high heat for 5 to 7 min. for a slightly crispy texture. Toss shredded meat with sauce to taste; serve any remaining sauce on the side. Serve carnitas over tortillas or rice topped with quick pickle, sour cream, black olives, and cilantro as desired.

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