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Living Large in Northeast Ohio


7100 Lockwood Blvd. # 392

Youngstown, OH 44512

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March 5, 2016

CARNITAS (Little Meats)


Submitted by Teresa Gahagan Rios


Teresa Says:  When my husband’s uncle, known as “Unc” to all of us, turned 80 there was large celebration. I helped with the cooking and one of the dishes I made was my version of carnitas. I hope you enjoy too!




4 lb. (approximate) pork shoulder roast (pork butt)

¼ c. lard or cooking oil

1 c. orange juice

½ c. lime juice

3 bay leaves

2 Tbsp. oregano (Mexican if you have it)

2 c. water

3 Ancho chili peppers, stems removed, seeded and broken into pieces

1 large onion cut in about 8 pieces

4 cloves of garlic smashed or rough chop

1 ½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper




1 6-oz can tomato sauce

1 c. water




Heat oven to 350F. Cut the pork into 2 inch chunks. Using the salt and pepper season the pork. Heat lard in a 5-6 quart Dutch oven. Brown the pork chunks in the lard in small batches so the pork chunks brown not steam. Remove browned pork to a platter and continue until all pork is browned. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of fat. Put all the browned pork back in the Dutch oven. Add the chopped onion and garlic. Add the orange juice, lime juice, oregano, ancho peppers, water, and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer on the stove. Cover with a tight fitting lid and transfer to 350F. oven. Cook 2 to 3 hours; meat is done when you can pull it apart with a fork. Start checking it about 2 hours into cooking time and remove from oven when fork tender. With a slotted spoon remove the cooked pork to a platter. Pull meat apart to bite sized pieces. Remove and discard bay leaves. To make the sauce use the drippings from the cooked pork, add the tomato sauce and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer and cook until reduced about 20 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer pushing down on solids. Keep sauce warm until ready to serve. Serve the carnitas with the sauce, tortillas, and Pickled Red Onion Salsa.


































Submitted by Teresa Gahagan Rios


Teresa Says:  You can substitute regular oregano for Mexican--it’s ok but has a stronger, less citrus flavor. Use what you have on hand.




4 large red onions

2 c. orange juice not from concentrate but doesn't have to be fresh squeezed

2 c. fresh squeezed lime juice

3 tsp. kosher salt

3 jalapeño peppers (more if you like it hotter or use different chili peppers of choice)

2 Tbsp. granulated garlic

3 Tbsp. of Mexican oregano

2 to 3 Tbsp. olive oil




Cut onions in half and take off the papery skin. Slice off the very top of onion and cut odd the root end. Cut the onions very thin lengthwise from root to tip. Wash and dry jalapeños, cut off stem end and, if desired, remove the seeds and veins. (This makes for a much more mild finished product). Slice the jalapeños very thin or chop very fine—either way works well. Put all contents in a large bowl. Add orange juice, lime juice, granulated garlic, oregano, salt, and olive oil. Stir until well combined. Place in a container with a tight fitting lid and put in refrigerator overnight so flavors will blend. Every couple of hours turn over container a couple of times to keep everything moist. This is a great garnish or accompaniment for carnitas or fajitas.





Jalapeño Popper Dip


Submitted by Erin Denison




16 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 c. Hellmann's Mayonnaise

4 oz. chopped green chilies

2 diced jalapeño peppers

1 c. grated Parmesan cheese




Stir together cream cheese, mayonnaise, green chilies, and jalapeño peppers until smooth. Pour mixture into a microwave-safe serving dish, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Microwave until hot, about 3 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips or crostini bread.

























The Mahoning Valley's ethnic heritage has given it some of the best food in the nation.  Immigrants from all over the world came to this area at the beginning of the Twentieth Century bringing with them their own culinary experiences.  Some local folks got together through Facebook and put together an exchange called Recipes of Youngstown for local recipes and the wonderful stories that accompany them. They have also produced two cookbooks to benefit local heritage organizations. Links to where you can purchase them are provided to the right.


Preserving our local culinary history!!!!!!!