Saturday, November 13, 2010

Slow Cooker Carnitas

I just have to say that I love freaking carnitas. You all know that I am a pork fiend and will eat it day or night if I could. And carnitas are no exception!

Anyway, one day I got an email from god knows where and it included a recipe for crock pot carnitas, so I printed it out and decided to make it. I have made carnitas before by roasting a piece of pork all day but it is pretty time intensive. I figured this was a slow cooker recipe so I couldn't screw it up. So I bought my pork shoulder and got busy.

I don't have to tell you that I barely followed the recipe. Oh there were so many instructions and blah blah blah. So as usual, I just willy-nilly added and deleted ingredients from the recipe.

I started out with chopped onions and garlic. The recipe called for limes and oranges cut in quarters and thrown in with the meat. I was a little iffy on this part of the recipe but I did it nonetheless.

I should have followed my instinct and just used the juice. While the limes and oranges added lots of flavor, there was a little bitter taste to the sauce because of the lime pith. Next time, I am going to juice the orange and limes and zest the skins and add it to the crock pot.

The recipe gave me a long list of spices to add and, luckily, I had most of them and then some. I added about a 1/4 cup of water, red chile powder, my famous Santa Fe green chile powder, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. I also added garlic and onion powder and fresh cilantro to the crock pot. I popped in the pork and set it to cook all day. The house smelled amazing.

After the pork was cooked, I took the pork out and shredded it to make the carnita tacos. You have to have diced onions and cilantro for carnitas. I also had some jalapenos and diced tomatoes. I also made some delish Costa Rican black beans as a side dish.

I wish I had a tortilla press because I would have so made my own tortillas but I opted for the easy thing and had store bought tortillas. I also had a little lime to squeeze over the carnitas. Let me tell you that they were absolutely fantastic.

I prefer roasted or fried carnitas because they are crunchier but this recipe (with a little tweaks) was easy and Tom said my carnitas were just as good as the ones we get at our favorite Mexican restaurant in town. WOO!!!!
And if I do say so myself, they were darn good! And the recipe was so easy. I love slow cooker cooking because you just add stuff to the crock pot and don't think about. Next week, I am going to do a crock pot pot roast that is so easy, even a child could make it!


  1. Sabroso indeed! I'm getting a crock pot on Black Friday and this will be the first recipe I will try!

  2. I keep finding more reasons you're amazing - crock pot rules! Even better that you feel free to add/ delete/ substitute ingredients - willynilly

  3. YUM YUM YUM!! Omgoodness Caro I love this!! i love pork! This is a recipe I will try next week!

  4. Wow!! I never thought of cooking my carnitas in a crockpot. I usually buy it made b/c I always thought it was difficult to prepare. Never underestimate the power of the crockpot, huh? ;)

  5. Oh my goodnessssss I can't believe you were able to make pork shoulder in a crockpot!!!! Your home must have smelled so delicious when you got home from work.YUM!

    I really really need to get one, like Yoly I may get it during Black Friday/Monday

    Hope I can catch a good deal. Will let you know ;)

  6. woww this recipe mis very good!!!! Yeah!!! crock pot rules!!

  7. Wow, I want an invite to eat at your table. LOL...You're such an amazing cook. I am suuuuuper jealous!

  8. What a great way to put a crock pot to good use. Love your cooking style it's very relaxed and tasty. Muy willynilly.

  9. Looks really good! I feel like tacos again!

  10. you can prob put an old shoe in a croc pot and be able to eat it. LOL Love it, gonna try your carnitas :)

  11. I noticed you didn't include adobo as one of your spices...I use that in all my can find that in the ethnic aisle in your local supermarket. There's 2 types, one with pepper and one without....