Recipe: Chef Hugo’s Maple & Orange Carnitas

Chef Victor Hugo‘s mission is simple: bring traditional Mexican cuisine using fresh Alberta ingredients to the people of Edmonton. If you’ve been lucky enough to see chef Victor in a food demonstration, you know this charismatic chef is eager to share the flavours from his native country. He has proudly shared his passion for Alberta pork in his recipes as a repeat presenter on the Taste Alberta food stage at Porkapalooza, and while sharing his taco making secrets at Get Cooking. Chef Victor Hugo has added a bit more Canadian flavour to this taco recipe – this version of Maple & Orange Carnitas serves six:

What you’ll need…

2 kg Pork shoulder
1 orange, sliced
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 L  cold water
8 garlic cloves
1 white onion
2 Tbsp salt
1/2 Tbsp black pepper

Salsa Verde
6 Tomatillos
2 Garlic Cloves
1 Jalapeño
1 Tbsp salt

Garnish and assembly
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 cup cilantro leafs
4 limes, cut into quarters
250 g Cheddar cheese, grated
18 corn tortillas


For the Carnitas

  1. Cut the pork shoulder in four parts place into an oven-safe pot or roasting pan.
  2. Mix the rest of the ingredients for a minute add use to marinate the meat. Cover with aluminum foil or a lid, and place in in the oven at 300 °f for 3 hours.
  3. Remove the pan use shred the pork – it should be fork tender and pull apart easily. Add a little of the juices left in the roasting pan or pot to the pork mixture, reserving any leftover juices for the garnish (see below).

For the Salsa Verde

  1. Add two cups of water to a medium pot and put on the stove over high heat until boiling.
  2. Add the tomatillos and jalapeño pepper and cook for 5 minutes. remove from the water and add them to a blender with the other ingredients grind for one minute.

For the Garnish and assembly

  1. Grind the cilantro leaves in 1/2 cup of the reserved roasting juice from the pork (see above) with the coriander leaves, until the mixture is thick.
  2. Using a skillet over high heat, warm each tortilla for 30 seconds per side.
  3. In a non stick frying pan over medium high heat, add some cheese (12 g approximately) and place the tortilla on top. Cook for 45 seconds,and remove with the help of a spatula.
  4. Flip the tortilla so the cheese is facing up. Top with carnita mix, onions and cilantro. Serve alongside salsa verde and a lime. Enjoy!


Porkapalooza BBQ Festival – June 16-17, 2018

Its finally here! The Porkapalooza BBQ Festival is on this Father’s Day weekend, June 16-17, 2018 at Northlands.

Saturday 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
Sunday 11:00 am – 7:00 pm

2018 marks the 5th year for Edmonton’s annual Porkapalooza BBQ Festival. This weekend, Northlands Park Racetrack & Casino will play host to the two-day community event showcasing the art and culture of BBQ.

Let your nose lead the way to the mouth-watering smell of smoked meat and charcoal.  BBQ teams from across Canada will be competing for $16,000 in prize money, and variety of food vendors (including Boss Hog’s BBQFat FranksGator BBQMisty Mountain BBQ, and Smokehouse BBQ) will be serving up meat, meat and more meat.

There are plenty of activities for the whole family, from the Kids Zone to the Entertainment Stage. And don’t forget the opportunity to learn more about BBQ at the Food Demonstration Stage.

This year’s lineup includes:

Stu Whyte of Original Redhead Condiments

Saturday, June 16

Sunday, June 17


The Father’s Day weekend event is organized by the Porkapalooza BBQ Festival Society with generous financial support from Alberta Pork and other sponsors. This year, Porkapalooza will support three local charities:

So grab your family and friends and get your Porkapalooza on!

Brian Misko, award-winning BBQ sauce and spice creator, BBQ teacher, and public speaker with House of Q, based in Vancouver.