This Food & Wine recipe provides a healthy, delcious, plant-based alternative to traditional carnitas. The savory jackfruit reduces the amount of fat and cholesterol in your dish. In fact, jackfruit may actually help lower cholesterol. Combined with its high potassium content, it's a great heart-healthy food choice. We recommend pairing it with our 2019 The Terraces Pinot Noir
Credit: Jocelyn Ramirez via Food & Wine Magazine
3 medium tomatillos, husks removed
1 medium jalapeño, stemmed (seeded, if desired)
1 medium Hass avocado, pitted
1 cup packed fresh cilantro stems and leaves
3 to 6 tablespoons water, as needed
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
⅛ teaspoon ground cumin
3 (20-ounce) cans young green jackfruit in water, drained, rinsed, and squeezed dry
¾ cup neutral cooking oil (such as grapeseed), plus more as needed
5 tablespoons fresh orange juice, divided
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
10 (4- to 6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
Pico de gallo, fresh cilantro leaves, and lemon wedges, for serving
Make the avocado salsa
1. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium. Add tomatillos and jalapeño; cook, turning occasionally, until charred on all sides, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes.
2. Place tomatillos, jalapeño, avocado, cilantro, 3 tablespoons water, lemon juice, salt, and cumin in a blender. Process until smooth, about 45 seconds, adding up to remaining 3 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed until a pourable consistency is reached. Season with additional salt to taste. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
Make the jackfruit "carnitas"
3. Using a knife, remove non-shreddable core from shreddable outer parts of jackfruit pieces; set aside. Remove any seedpods from shreddable parts, and add seedpods to pile of cores. Place shreddable jackfruit in a medium bowl, and shred with your hands into small pieces. Finely chop cores and seedpods until they are a similar texture to the shredded jackfruit; add to shredded jackfruit in bowl. Add oil, 21/2 tablespoons orange juice, cumin, oregano, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper; toss to evenly combine.
4. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium. Add jackfruit mixture; using a spatula, press into an even layer. Cook, turning and pressing occasionally, until seared and golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes, adding oil as needed. Remove from heat, and stir in remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons orange juice. Season with additional salt to taste.
5. Place about 1/4 cup jackfruit mixture on each tortilla. Top with pico de gallo and cilantro. Serve with avocado salsa and lemon wedges.
Pair with 2019 The Terraces Pinot Noir »
*Tip from Fort Ross Vineyard: save time by looking for pre-seasoned jackfruit products in the refridgerated section of the grocery store - typically next to the tofu & other meat substitute products!
Layers of ripe fruit from our 2019 The Terraces Pinot Noir combine with the spices of the jackfruit "carnitas" to create a fun sort of "sweet-and-spicy," play on the palate. This juicy wine matches the succulent, juicy texture of this substitute of pulled-pork.