In reality, I should call these “Oven Crisped Pork Carnita Chimichangas”… that seemed a smidgen too long, title wise. Even “Chimichangas”, plain and simple, would be appropriate. But I didn’t want to lead anyone astray in the “how they’re cooked” category. Any chimichanga I’ve ever seen on a menu is deep-fried…these are NOT. They’re baked to crispy perfection in the oven.
The inspiration for this dish comes from a chicken chimichanga recipe I found in a local newspaper. It sounded great, but I really wanted to use pork instead. Pork carnitas are something that has been prepared in our home at least monthly since Shari@Cook AZ I Do posted her recipe last March. To describe her recipe only requires one word…delicious!
I strayed from Shari’s recipe a bit this time around due to a few factors. I used a different cut of meat…incorporated a fresh poblano pepper…played with the spices…and I used my pressure cooker.
I stuffed the chimichangas with the cooked spicy pork, a little shredded cheese, black beans and rice cooked in diced tomatoes and green chilis. We topped them off with queso fresco and assorted vegetables.
The recipe below uses about half of the cooked pork you will yield. Freeze the unused portion for a quick meal at a later date…it holds up beautifully!
Oven Crisped Pork Chimichangas
Ingredients for the Meat Rub:
1 Tablespoon coarse salt
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
Ingredients for the Pork Filling:
4 pounds country style ribs
1 Tablespoon cooking oil
1 large onion, diced
1 poblano pepper, diced
1½ teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup chicken stock or broth
Ingredients for the Chimichangas:
4 cups of the cooked pork
10 8-inch flour tortillas, room temperature
2 cups cooked rice
15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
6 Tablespoons shredded cheese (cheddar, pepper jack or mix)
Assorted toppings: shredded lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, sour cream, cheese, etc.
Directions for Rub/Pork Filling:
- Mix the meat rub ingredients together in a small bowl; set aside.
- Cut the country-style pork ribs into six pieces. Coat the meat in rub mix and gently pat into the meat. Be sure to coat all sides; set aside.
- Heat the oil in the pressure cooker on the “brown” setting. (A dutch oven can also be used on a stove top burner set to medium/high.) When the oil is hot, add the seasoned pork. Cook in batches as needed. Cook the pork until browned, or lightly seared, on all sides. Transfer to a plate; continue until all pork is browned.
- When all of the pork is prepped, add the diced onion and pepper to the pot. Add a bit more oil if the pan is dry. Season with the remaining cumin, salt, pepper and chili powder. Cook until the vegetables are soft and slightly browned. Stir in the minced garlic; cook 30-60 seconds longer.
- Return the pork to the pot, placing it on top of the vegetables. Pour any juices collected on the plate into the pot as well. Pour in the orange juice and chicken stock. Secure the lid on the pressure cooker, set to “High” pressure. Once the pressure cooker is fully pressurized, cook for 50 minutes. (Or…place all ingredients in the dutch oven; cover and cook in a 350°F oven for about 5 hours.)
- When the pressure cooking time is over, allow a 10 minute natural release before a quick release of any remaining pressure.
- Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and discard any bones. Shred the meat with two forks and return to the pot; keep warm.
Note: For the rice, I cooked long grain rice according to the package instruction, except substituting an 11-ounce can of diced tomatoes with green chilis (Rotel) for half of the required water. This yields a fluffy and spicy rice.
To Assemble Chimichangas: (See photos below)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and lightly grease a large baking sheet.
- Lay a tortilla on a flat surface. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the rice below center of the tortilla; top with 1 tablespoon of black beans, 1/3 cup of the pork and 1 tablespoon of the shredded cheese.
- Fold in 2 sides of tortillas to enclose filling. Fold over top and bottom edges of tortillas, making rectangles. Secure with wooden tooth-picks. Place, folded-side down, on greased baking sheets. Repeat until all chimichangas are formed.
- Lightly spritz chimichangas with cooking spray.
- Bake for 8 minutes; turn and bake 5 more minutes. Remove tooth-picks. Serve chimichangas with desired toppings.