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I plan to make carnitas soon with a lovely pork shoulder that wants out of my freezer. I've made carnitas many times before; what's not to love about Mexican pulled pork? I've never used sweetened condensed milk though, and I see that's a very common ingredient. What does the milk add? The recipes that use it only call for a small amount, a tablespoon or so.

  • I was hesitant to comment but figured every little bit of observation might help. I have only made Carnitas twice and never with sweetened condensed milk - I did not even realize it was a common ingredient. My think-y brain reminds me that cooked sweetened condensed milk is basically dulce de leche - something to love for sure, but it doesn't register in my "things that go good with pork" index. My taste-y brain reminds me that a tablespoon of SCM applied to the fixins for a whole shoulder is probably/practically undetectable so what's the point. – Stephen Eure Oct 24 '14 at 19:25
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This is a bit of a guess - I've only made carnitas without it - but it probably help helps promote nice browning. The tiny bit of sweetness wouldn't hurt either.

Of course, you'll be fine without it too; I didn't know it was a common ingredient and never noticed something was missing. Still could be good though!

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