Hello again! It’s been a little while. But I’m back after a couple of whirlwind weeks at work and life…and my camera dying. I swear, last Friday I was going to share a super warm and tasty risotto recipe, but my camera died when I went to snap my first picture. No bueno. I guess I’ll just have to make it again to share with you…
Anywho. We have a holiday pot-luck/white elephant gift exchange every year at my work. It’s always a raucous affair, leaving many feelings hurt after gifts get stolen again and again. But that’s the fun part. And even more fun is the fact that so many of my coworkers are great cooks, so the potluck is also wonderfully delicious and just gets better every time.
Part of what’s fun about work potlucks is that Pedro gets to hang out. Have I told you guys about Pedro? He’s awesome. And a source of weird family exploits. Don’t mind the blog my family and boyfriend put together as my birthday present this year. Don’t mind it at all. We’re not crazy in the least.
But I was talking about carnitas, wasn’t I?
So back to these glorious pork morsels.
This is a really easy method, and you can even skip the final step of frying them if you want to be healthier (but who are we kidding?). I threw all my stuff in my slow cooker Sunday late morning and shredded/fried it Sunday night. All that I had to do Monday was reheat it on low for a little while and serve up. And they are foolproof delicious Look at me, saying “foolproof” like I’ve made them a thousand times. This was my first time but it definitely won’t be my last. So. Yummy.
Now I should tell you how to make these for yourself!
- Pork shoulder/butt (3-4 lbs, I used boneless)
- 2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped roughly
- 2 large oranges
- 1 medium white onion, chopped roughly
- 4-8 garlic cloves, minced (just keep ’em coming–you won’t regret it)
- 2 heaping tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds, toasted and ground
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- Olive oil
- Vegetable oil
- Salt & Pepper
- Corn tortillas
- Chopped white onion
- Chopped cilantro
- Slices of lime
- Salsa/guacamole/sour cream/beans as desired
- Rinse and pat your hunk o’ pork dry. Remove any twine that might be tied around it. You don’t need none of that. I also trimmed some of the thicker hunks o’ fat off the pork because there was pleeenty marbled throughout. It’s optional.
- Look at it. Salivate.
- Season generously all over with salt, pepper, and your other spices, using some olive oil to help rub them in and get them to stick.
- Move your meat to your crockpot. Let it patiently await its new roommates.
- Top with the onions, jalapeños, and garlic. Squeeeeeze those oranges to get all the juice in there and throw the halves in to keep the rest company.
- Cook on low for 8-10 hours, until the meat is tender and falling apart.
- Remove the meat from the crockpot and transfer to a large plate or bowl. Skim out any onions/jalapeños and reserve what liquid remains in the pot. You’ll need to add some back to ensure juicy, un-dry carnitas later. I let the fat separate and skimmed a bunch of that off the top. I recommend that.
- After your meat has cooled briefly, shred it with two forks. This will be very easy to do.
- (Optional, but recommended/traditional) Coat the bottom of a large saute pan with your veggie oil and heat that over medium high until lightly smoking. Carefully add your meat (it will spatter! Protect yourself!) and let it fry for a while to get a nice crust on one side, about 5-7 minutes. I continued to stir mine around to get the meat browner, but again this is pretty optional and you can totally stop whenever you want (I guess, if you’re a carnitas wuss…) Okay I take it back. You’re making carnitas. You’re no wuss.
- Drizzle some juice over the meat and make sure it’s heated through before you serve (as I mentioned before, these will keep overnight in the fridge and you can just reheat them on low, stirring and adding more juices as needed to make sure they are moist and warm for eating!)
- Serve up: the simplest and super delicious way to serve is just warm some corn tortillas, top with carnitas and some chopped onion and cilantro, a squeeze of lime and enjoy!
Carnitas make delicious tacos, tortas, burritos, breakfast burritos, etc. They make good everything. So eat up!
Buen provecho 🙂