I made that!

Piggy’s Got a New Blanket

Posted in All Things Pork, Don't BUY it, MAKE it!, I Like Salt Too by brandi on March 8, 2011

Okay, time to own up to another guilty pleasure.

You might remember a certain love letter, to a certain carnitas, written many a month ago.  Well, it is carnitas time again. I mean, when is it ever not carnitas time…. We’ve been hard at work on The Pantry, and there’s nothing quite like building your own business with your bare hands to work up an appetite. We’ve been working so hard, in fact, that I invited my most carnivorous friend Scott to Seattle, to help my tiny little muscles. Because in case you didn’t know this, construction, it is physical. After weeks ripping sheet rock from the walls, nailing boards to form our new ceiling, scraping the linoleum off of the floor to find (gasp!) a SECOND layer of linoleum, I found myself with a small bit of time before we start jackhammering (oh yeah, you heard me) the concrete in our future garden. Give me a night off with some of my meat-loving friends, and some porky goodness is sure to show up. Carnitas. That deliciously salty, crispy, sweet, melt in my mouth porkfest was calling. But hold your carnitas, because there’s new tortilla in town.

Here’s the thing. I know you’re supposed to like corn tortillas better, because that’s the “authentic” Mexican way. But guess what? I’m not from Mexico. In fact, being from Alabama, I’m doing good just to have graduated past Taco Bell. So I’m here to admit for the world wide web to hear: I like flour tortillas better. Not the stretchy, gummy kind of steamed flour tortillas you get at a taqueria (oh how I miss you, dear Mission district), but something with some chew to it. Blistered from heat and even a little puffy. I could munch on good flour tortillas daily. The problem? Good flour tortillas are few and far between. As per usual, I thought, why not make my own? So I did. And they were perfection. I now pass the baton to you.

A note about lard: If you don’t have time to make your own, then you should be able to find freshly rendered lard at a good butcher shop. Even if you don’t see it, just ask, because sometimes they keep it hidden away. This time I got my lard from Rainshadow Meats on Capitol Hill.

Flour Tortillas Recipe:

Makes 8 tortillas.

2 cups AP flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 1/4 tsp salt

6 TBSP fresh lard, RT

3/4 cup milk, warm

– Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the lard and work in you’re your hands until all of the flour is coated.

– Add the warm milk and stir the mixture with a spoon until it forms a dough. Knead for 4 minutes on a floured surface. The dough should be firm and soft.

– Place the dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap for 30 minutes.

– After the dough has rested, roll it into a log. Slice the log into into eight discs. Use your hand to flatten each disc, then place on a plate without touching each other. Cover the dough with a damp cloth or plastic wrap for 10 minutes. After the dough has rested, one at a time place a piece on a floured surface and roll with a rolling pin from the center until it’s thin and about eight inches in diameter. Keep rolled-out tortillas covered until ready to cook.

– In a dry cast iron skillet heated on high, cook the tortilla about thirty seconds on each side. It should start to puff a bit when it’s done. Keep cooked tortillas covered wrapped in a cloth until ready to eat. They can be reheated in a dry iron skillet.


23 Responses

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  1. A Plum By Any Other Name said, on March 9, 2011 at 4:27 am

    Okay. Here comes the ignorance. Where does one, ahem, get fresh lard? Or rather, how does one. I should know this, I really should. I just have never had the guts to ask before now.

    • brandi said, on March 9, 2011 at 9:42 am

      I just added a note about lard in the above post!

    • Clementina said, on March 29, 2011 at 9:14 pm

      Where to get delicious not-so-terrible-for-you lard? Schlep down to your nearest Mexican butcher (you know, the one across the tracks on the other side of town) and ask for lard rendered from carnitas. Fat never tasted so good.
      “A Little Cup of Mexican Hot Chocolate”

  2. vicki hand said, on March 9, 2011 at 9:18 am

    These sund great! Would you mind sharing your recipe for the carnitas????

    • brandi said, on March 9, 2011 at 9:42 am

      There’s a link in the second sentence!

  3. Jessie Stankey said, on March 9, 2011 at 10:21 am


  4. A Plum By Any Other Name said, on March 10, 2011 at 5:11 am

    Thank you! There is a butcher shop close to where I live in Beacon Hill (Boston) that I imagine will have some. If not, I’m sure I’ll do my great grandmother proud by attempting my own.

  5. linkdesign said, on March 17, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    Check out Jam it, Pickle it, Cure it by Karen Solomon for an easy lard making recipe. I ordered my fat back from Thundering Hooves out of Walla Walla. The lard turned out beautifully white and creamy, it’s in my freezer waiting to try these tortillas! The only disappointment in the whole process was the cracklins – maybe they needed salt or some other flavoring – they were crispy but really flavorless and (surprise, surprise) really greasy.

    P.S. I also prefer flour tortillas!

  6. Jacqui said, on March 17, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Oh I love a good tortilla, fresh and warm. I could eat them daily too!

  7. molly said, on March 19, 2011 at 8:36 am

    oh, good lord, i just located some smashing, local lard, and was wracking my brain as to what to do with it. Bischochitos? Wrong season. Pie Crust? Not in the Mood.

    I totally forgot about tortillas. Until now. A thousand thanks.

  8. Naomi said, on March 21, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Is there something you can substitute for lard if one is a vegetarian or can’t eat lard for religious reasons?

    • brandi said, on March 21, 2011 at 3:36 pm

      Since I have an aversion to shortening, I would just replace it with butter.

  9. Joanna said, on March 21, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    I have been looking for a good tortilla recipe..so glad I was directed to your site today; I LOVE it. I think I may be spending all my computer time over the next few days reading your archives!

  10. Sara said, on March 22, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Hi! I’m 100% Mexican–grew up in Northern Mexico. Everyone eats flour tortillas there 🙂 The majority of the people in the northern states consider flour tortillas just as common as corn. My grandma made the best flour tortillas ever–very similar to the recipe you posted–she never made corn. Anyway, I say all this because I wanted to make sure you don’t feel bad for liking flour more than corn! I do too!! Most people that are from the north do too! You’re just more like a northern Mexican than a southern one! And that’s something to be proud about 😉 no need to apologize! Arriba el Norte!! http://www.sintesisnoticias.com/noticia.php?id=793

  11. Sasha (Global Table Adventure) said, on March 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    I love fresh flour tortillas too – especially warm and dipped into queso.

  12. Fonda LaShay said, on March 23, 2011 at 4:28 am

    Hello! I have just been talking about wanting to do this!

    I have one question though. Could you make the dough the day before and keep it covered in the fridge? Or would it go bad.

  13. Jan said, on March 26, 2011 at 4:11 am

    I use the fat left over from frying bacon. You end up with a tortilla with a touch of bacony goodness.

  14. Marla said, on March 26, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    I just made these! So easy and so tasty. As a 42-year-old Mexican woman I’m a little ashamed that it was my first time making flour tortillas. My grandmother’s hold a special place in my heart but now that I know how quick I can make a batch there;s no excuses anymore.

  15. Clementina said, on March 29, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    I do have one suggestion: have you ever made flour tortillas from La Pina flour? It is a fluffy soft flour that is de rigeur for making flour tortillas in Mexico. My mom used to buy it in 20lb. sacks. These tortillas will float in el aire.

  16. Nishta said, on April 10, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Eating. Right. Now. Rendered lard today for the first time & this seemed the right way to celebrate! Thank you.

  17. […] Then, let the whole things simmer for a few hours. Make the homemade flour tortillas while you wait. […]

  18. Jennifer said, on August 24, 2011 at 1:51 am

    We just had a delicious meal of fish tacos and your fabulous tortillas were the highlight. I’ve only ever made corn tortillas before (we’re from Australia and any good tortilla is hard to find). There’s a distinct possibility I may never purchase ready-made tortillas again. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  19. I’m back! « donutsatmidnight said, on December 16, 2011 at 10:54 am

    […] I cannot take any credit for the tortilla recipe – I found it here, on one of my favorite blogs – but it is such an easy, delicious recipe, that I feel compelled to […]

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