Saturday, November 12, 2011

Spicy Slow Cooked Pork Carnitas

I love my slow cooker. There is something immensely satisfying in knowing that when you come home from work your dinner will be all ready for you. Here is a great, versatile pork carnitas recipe to try out. It makes a lot and this picture is from meal 3 of using the carnitas. So far, I've served it in warm corn tortillas with fresh cilantro and avocado slices, eaten over cilantro-lime rice with guacamole, tomatillo salsa, and Mexican cheese (Chipotle burrito bowl style), and today I added it to corn tortillas with the leftover rice, guacamole, salsa, AND cheese. YUM! Tomorrow, I'm planning on making baked potatoes and putting a remaining portion of pork carnitas right on top. I think it would also be a delicious topper for nachos while watching a game with friends. If you aren't as willing as I am to eat pork for multiple days, this would freeze well in individual sized portions.

Original Inspiration: SkinnyTaste
Serving Size: approximately 8 four ounce servings
WW: 5 pointsplus per serving

  • 2.5lb lean boneless pork shoulder blade roast, all fat removed (My butcher only had boneless pork picnic roast, so I had to do A LOT of trimming - try to find Boston or blade roast if you can)
  • 6 cloves of garlic, cut into slivers
  • cumin (to taste - probably around 1 tablespoon)
  • dry adobo seasoning (I used about 1 tablespoon of Goya Adobo seasoning)
  • garlic powder (approximately 2 teaspoons)
  • 3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 2-4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (to taste - more peppers, more heat)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • juice of 1/2 a lime

Generously season the roast with salt and pepper. Preheat a saute pan on medium-high and add the pork roast. You want to brown each side for about 3-5 minutes. You should be able to get a good sear if your pan is hot enough. Remove from heat and let cool.

Using a paring knife or other sharp, thin bladed knife, cut small holes in the roast and insert your garlic slivers. Once your roast is fully studded with garlic, season it liberally with cumin, adobo seasoning, and garlic powder.

Add the chicken broth, bay leaves, and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to your slow cooker. Place the pork roast in your crock pot and cover.  All of your prep is done at this point. You can put your dish in the fridge overnight if you are cooking the carnitas all day while you are at work as I did.

Cook on low for 8 hours. Now (or when you get home from work), shred the pork roast using two forks and combine the meat with all of the juices. Remove the bay leaves, add lime juice, and adjust your seasoning (you may need more salt and cumin). Cook for about 15-30 minutes on low and then serve with any base (tortillas, rice, salad, tortilla chips, baked potato, etc.) and toppings you like. Fresh chopped cilantro, avocado, or guacamole are excellent additions!

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