Shredded Beef and Lobster ‘carnitas’

The Mexican classic gets a surf-and-turf twist sure to satisfy your savory cravings without harming your six-pack.

Lobster Carnitas
James Wojcik

Your beef and cheese cravings are probably always at an all-time high. The only problem? Burritos, quesadillas, and enchiladas are pretty much guaranteed to wreck your diet. They’re fat, carb, and calorie bombs. 

But with this easy-to-make version of carnitas, loaded with high-protein lobster and beef chuck, you can get all the flavor without the guilt.

Pro tip: These melt-in-your-mouth carnitas pair perfectly with this spicy Michelada cocktail, which also happens to be low in calories.

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories 476; protein 62g; carbs 18g; fat 16g

Recipes by Chef James Briscione and Anthony Caporale of the Institute of Culinary Education.

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Prep time

15 min.

Cook time

180 min.

  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 lbs beef chuck, cut into large cubes
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups minced onion
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1⁄2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 1 (15 oz) can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 lobster tails or about 3⁄4 lb cooked lobster meat
  • 8 tortillas
  • Scallions, jalapeno pepper, onion, cilantro, sour cream (for serving)

Preheat oven to 350 ̊F.

Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed, oven-safe pan over medium-high heat. Pat beef cubes dry and toss with salt. Add beef to pan and cook until browned on all sides. Remove from pan and set aside.

Drain oil from pan, add onions, and cook 3 minutes over medium heat. Stir in garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika, chipotle, and tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and return beef to pan along with any juices. Cover and transfer to oven; cook 2 hours.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop lobster tails into water and cook until shells turn bright red, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl filled with ice water and let cool 5 minutes. Remove lobster meat from shells and chop into chunks.

When beef is done, shred with a fork and set aside. Place tomato mixture in a blender and blend until smooth. Add 1⁄2 cup of the purée to the beef. If meat seems dry, add more purée. Fold lobster into beef mixture, adding more purée as needed.

Serve with warm tortillas, sliced scallions, jalapeno pepper slices, minced onion and cilantro, and sour cream. If desired, pair with a side of grilled zucchini and squash scapece.