Crock Pot Carnitas

In the past year I have become a huge fan of Mexican food. It started off with the arrival of Chipotle in Canada and then the Mexican restaurant that opened up on Main Street in Newmarket. Sicne then, I have tacos at least once a week and crave some form of Mexican food at least once week.

Last week I broke out my Crock Pot again and made homemade Mexican pulled pork or Carnitas.

1. Of course, being something that is made in a crock pot, this is extremely easy to make. It is worth getting a crock pot just to make this recipe. Before I went to work in the morning I through all the ingredients in, and set it on low for 8 hours. I called GC around 3:30 to put the crock pot on warming and when I got home it was ready to shred. The meat just fell apart with the touch of a fork.

2. After tearing the pork apart you put it on a baking sheet to get brown and crispy. It takes the pork up a notch. I would suggest spreading the pork in a thin layer to allow it to become incredibly crunchy. You will probably have a ton of leftovers if you aren’t serving about 6-8 people so don’t crisp all the pork. Crisp it when you are ready to serve it next.

3. The pork is moist, sweet, and spicy. This pulled pork is comparable to any that I have had at Mexican restaurants. Next time I would kick up the spice a notch. I didn’t add the beer because I didn’t have any in the house. I used a chunkier salsa to allow larger chunks of tomato to shine through. The citrus flavour was subtle, yet apparent and was highlighted once more lime was squeezed on top of the completed taco.

4. We topped our tacos with avocado, sour cream and cilantro. Simple but delicious.

Recipe below the cut. Happy munching!

4-5 lbs pork shoulder

5 cloves garlic

1 tbsp salt

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp oregano

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tbsp chipotle hot sauce

Juice of 2 limes

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup salsa

12 ozbeer

1. Place the pork shoulder in the slow cooker. Roughly chop the garlic and place in the slow cooker.

2. Sprinkle meat with spice and rub seasonings onto the pork.

3. Add lime juice, orange juice, beer and salsa. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

4. Shred meat with 2 forks directly in the slow cooker. It should fall apart easily.

5. Preheat broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the shredded meat on the cooking sheet and pour a few spoonfuls of sauce over top. Broil for 5-10 minutes or until brown.

6. Serve on tortillas with cilantro, avocado and lime juice.


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