09 September 2011

Carnitas!


From Wikipedia:  "Carnitas, literally "little meats", is a type of braised or roasted (often after first being simmered) pork in Mexican cuisine.  Pork carnitas is traditionally made using the heavily marbled, rich 'boston butt' or 'picnic ham' cuts of pork.

Prior to serving, the pork, along with some of the rendered liquid, is placed in fairly shallow pans (to maximize surface area) and roasted at high (375 to 425 °F or 190 to 220 °C) heat for a few minutes to produce the desired alternating texture of succulent softness and caramelized crispness.
It can be a dish by itself, or as an ingredient in tamales, tacos, tortas, and burritos."

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Tender, crunchy, spicy goodness.  That's what we say Carnitas are. LOL  
I usually braise my Carnitas however, with this heat, I'd been looking around on the internet to see if anyone had a recipe for making it in the crock pot and sure enough, I found one!  
Since today we hit 107 with a heat index of 112 (and I read yesterday that summer was coming to an end and it was cooling down ~  WHERE??), I decided to give the crock pot a go this time.  I used my own spice recipe and I'm very happy with the results.  It was much easier than the traditional way of cooking and I didn't heat up the house.  Oh, and the smell... ah man.  There was no way something that smelled so good could be bad.  And boy-howdy!  We were not disappointed.

I think from now on, I'm a "Carnitas in the Crock Pot" kind of gal.  :)

(I made this 2 weeks ago and thought I had posted it.  I think the heat fried my brain. LOL) 





Carnitas ~ Crock Pot

  • 4-5 pound Pork Shoulder Roast (cut into good sized chunks ~ I had probably 6-7 chunks)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumino
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Lime for squeezing over your food

Mix all your seasonings except the bay leaves together in a bowl.

Put meat into a large mixing bowl and cover with seasonings, mixing and rubbing ensuring all meat is coated.

Cover and put in fridge over night.

Place bay leaves in bottom of crock pot and pour in broth.

Carefully place in meat, cover and cook on low for 10 hours.

Heat oven to 400.

Removed meat, shred and spread over a baking sheet, ladling some of the liquid over the top.

Place baking sheet in oven for 20 min to crisp the edges of the meat. 

While that is crisping, if you like, strain liquid into a sauce pan, reduce and thicken with some corn starch to make a gravy.  (I don't do this, I just spoon some of the broth over the top)

I served with a squeeze of lime over rice with a salad.
Leftovers will be frozen and used later to make tacos or quesadillas.





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