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January 8, 2014

Crockpot Carnitas

It's a new year and thus time for new recipes! 

I got a giant 6-quart slow cooker for Christmas from my mama-in-law and have been determined to use it! First on the list.... crockpot carnitas.

Cooked all day in a blend of seasonings and lime juice, orange juice, and beer. There's all kinds of flavor bursting from this oh-so-tender pork. You best believe it.

At first, I didn't leave it under the broiler long enough, and it didn't really get crispy and just tasted like delicious pulled pork. I kept wondering, "what makes this carnitas and not pulled pork?!" Hello, google. I googled carnitas and found out that it's actually supposed to be the perfect balance of tender and crispy pork... tender because it's slow cooked for hours in the crockpot, and crispy because of a little *broilage. #myownDesilanguage.

So yeah, broil that pork! Seriously, it's amazing. To be so perfectly tender yet have that perfect amount of crisp... it's like magic.

Pure pork magic.

Crockpot Carnitas
ever-so-slightly adapted from Pinch of Yum
  • 4-5 lbs. pork shoulder picnic
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 12 ounces beer (I used Yuengling lager)
  • 1/2 cup salsa (I used a chipotle salsa)
Place the pork shoulder in the crockpot. Rub minced garlic into the meat. Season meat with all seasonings and rub into the pork on all sides. 

Add hot sauce, lime juice, orange juice, beer, and salsa to the crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for less but check the temperature after 4-5 hours. It should be at an internal temp of 155-160 degrees. 

Shred meat with two forks directly in the crockpot. It should fall apart easily and be tender. 

Preheat broiler. Place the shredded meat on a baking sheet and pour a few spoonfuls of sauce over top. Broil for 5-10 minutes, until the edges of the pork are browned a bit and a little crispy. Keep an eye on the broiler though and don't stray too far!

Printable Recipe

If you want, you can serve it on tortillas with fresh cilantro, avocado, and a squeeze of lime juice like we did  :) Or just eat it straight up. It's that good.

Oooh, oooh! And you can use leftover carnitas in so many things! Just google 'leftover carnitas recipes' and you'll find some good ideas. My idea though? How about a carnitas grilled cheese? :) It'll be on the blog here soon. I'm the least creative person eva eva, so I was kinda proud when I thought of that idea and didn't see it already invented and showing up all over the world wide web. Not that I really invented it... it's just a grilled cheese with some carnitas thrown on top + a little something extra. No biggie, really. 

Except it is.

Prepare your bellies. I warned you.

*broilage: (noun) the act of crisping food in a broiler. 

Linking up here.

Peace, and bacon grease!


Unknown said...

these look amazing and I might adjust the heat a little as my kids can be finicky some times. Thanks for linking up to Friday Frenzy today.

Anonymous said...

I am totally into Mexican food lately, and your carnitas look muy bueno! Thanks for the tip about broiling. I learned something today!

Miz Helen said...

Hi Desi,
We would just love your Crockpot Carnitas, awesome flavor. A perfect pot of goodness for the upcoming bowl game. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a wonderful week!
Miz Helen

Unknown said...

I am not usually a pork fan but I love mexican food! This looks good! Thank you for linking up at the Blog Strut Blog Hop! I can't wait to see what you link up next week!
Have a terrific weekend!

Diane Balch said...

Pinning this. Congrats on the slow cooker its a wondeful thing to have. Thanks for sharing this really tasty recipe with us on foodie friday.

Diane Balch said...

Your recipe is being featured today on foodie friday. Stop by and get your button. I will be pinning and tweeting it this week.