Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Sunday Night Suppers: Crockpot Carnitas

I've been inspired again by The Pioneer Woman. I learn so much from her shows; mainly how to make quick, easy and flavorful meals. Being a carnitas lover, I finally decided to take the plunge and try them for myself. TPW made hers in a dutch oven, but I used my trusty crockpot. 

The beauty of crockpot meals is that you add a bunch of good stuff to the pot, cover it, and then hours later after you've ran your errands, taken a nap, and marathon watched a new show on Netflix, your dinner is ready. 

I combined TPW's recipe with a few I found online and came up with what turned out to be delicious carnitas. I bought a 2 lb. pork butt (or shoulder, which I think is essentially the same), and rubbed a few teaspoons of olive oil all over it. Then, rubbed in salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cumin. 

I then chopped one yellow onion, three jalapenos, two limes, and two oranges and added it all to the pot. Squeeze in the lime and orange juice first and add two bay leaves. 

At first I was apprehensive about not adding any liquid, but the longer it cooks, the pork begins to create its own juices. Trust me when I say, you don't need to add any liquid, but you do need to add more salt and cumin than you think. 

After nearly six hours on high in the crock pot, the pork will be ready to easily shred. If not sure, poke at the pork and see if it falls apart. I used two forks and added the pork, peppers, onions, and part of the juice to a Tupperware dish to store in the fridge.

Typically, you'd eat your carnitas right away, but due to other plans, we had them the next night. One of my favorite parts of carnitas is when they're crispy, so I added a little bit of olive oil to a pan and turned the heat to medium high. I added the carnitas, onions, and peppers in a thin layer and pressed down with a spatula. In a few minutes, they began to crisp. I flipped them over and did the same to other side. 

My husband loved them and so did I! Serve with warm tortillas and top with pico de gallo. For sides roll up corn on the cob with chili butter and cotija cheese in foil. Roast in the over for 20ish minutes on 450 degrees. I also made canned refried beans, but added chicken stock to thin them out and added some cumin.

The recipe is delicious the first time around and tasty as leftovers. Plus, the pork butt was only about $7. Another supper success!

Next crockpot recipes to try: kalua pork and black bean and chorizo soup. 

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