Crockpot Carnitas

If there was one kind of food that I could eat all day every day (other than chocolate and cereal) it would probably have to be Mexican.  I love me some Mexican food!  Tortilla chips, enchiladas, tacos, nachos, burritos, Chipotle, huevos rancheros, Mexican hot chocolate, fajitas, quesadillas, beans & rice…. You get the picture.  Mexican food is really the best there is.  Can I get an Amen?!

Carnitas

Will and I love trying out new Mexican restaurants.  They MUST have all you can eat complimentary chips and salsa, and if we don’t like the salsa…. We won’t be back.  Is there anything that ruins the fiesta vibe of trying out a New Mexican restaurant worse than bad salsa?  One bite and all the mouthwatering you had been doing over the menu is instantly extinguished.

You have heard people referred to as “Coffee Snobs.”  Will is a Mexican Snob.  He has high standards, but I am not going to complain about that because it means we eat really awesome food!  He is also a Chipotle addict.  If going to Chipotle is mentioned around him, you can bet that we will be there.  He never misses an opportunity to go to Chipotle.  I think the only time I have seen that happen was the other night when he seared for a place with gluten free pizza for me instead of going to the Chipotle next door because he knew I was craving pizza.  It’s kind of a big deal when I give a firm opinion on what I want to eat.  It doesn’t happen often.

Will's favorite place.

Will’s favorite place.

Another wonderful thing about Mexican food is that a lot of the time it’s the same few basic ingredients just prepared in different ways, which makes it great for maximizing your grocery budget.

Will and I like to buy meat when it’s on sale, store it in the freezer, and then base our menu off of what’s in the freezer.  Well, thanks to our nearly 2 month vegan stint at the beginning of the year we have a freezer full of meat to use. This week we are eating a couple of pork tenderloins.  I say a couple, but in all reality it’s just one because we save money by purchasing tenderloins that would be enough for a family of four and splitting them into two.

see the two smaller pieces of pork in there

see the two smaller pieces of pork in there

As an attempt to use up some of the meat in our freezer before it gets freezer burnt I decided to try my hand at carnitas and have Mexican food to eat this week.  Because Mexican food is just too good!  These were really easy to make, but they taste like I spent a long time slaving over them.  I had mine sitting in the fridge, soaking up the rub for a whole day because the schedule changed, and I wasn’t able to turn the crockpot on in the morning.  Instead I turned it on at night when we went to bed and shredded the meat in the morning.  That took no time at all!  the meat just falls apart!  I left the shredded meat sitting in the juice all day till dinner time.

after cooking all night it just falls apart when you touch it, and turns into that wonderful stuff!

after cooking all night it just falls apart when you touch it, and turns into that wonderful stuff!

photo credit to Will who chopped and displayed all the toppings so nicely

photo credit to Will who chopped and displayed all the toppings so nicely

Carnitas Carnitas Carnitas

These were instantly hubster approved!

Crockpot Carnitas  

based off of a recipe from pinch of yum.                         

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 lbs. Pork Tenderloin (or shoulder or butt)
  • 2 large cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1-2 teaspoons Cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano
  • ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 lime
  • ¼ cup Orange Juice
  • 6 ounces Beer (supposedly chicken broth works too)
  • 2 tablespoons Salsa or Tomato Paste or Tomato Puree (I used a “tomato cube” which is a frozen chunk of pureed tomatoes from our garden last year)
  • Toppings: diced onion, chopped cilantro, jalapenos, lime juice, cheese, lettuce, hot sauce, beans, sour cream…. whatever your heart desires (but definitely onion, cilantro, & lime juice)
  • Tortillas for serving.  I tried making my own corn tortillas following this recipe.

Instructions:

  1. Mix all the spices and the minced garlic together in a bowl.
  2. Place the pork in the slow cooker, sprinkle the seasoning mixture over the meat, and rub it into the pork.
  3. Place in fridge and allow it to soak up the flavors of the rub overnight.
  4. Remove from fridge, cut your lime in half and squeeze the juice over the pork, then toss the lime in the crockpot.  Add orange juice, beer, and salsa/tomato.
  5. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours…. Your house will smell amazing!  I actually let mine sit in the fridge for a whole day then cooked it overnight while we slept.
  6. Shred meat with two forks. It will fall apart super easily!  You can shred it in the crockpot with all the juice or try to pull it out, shred, and place it back in the sauce.
  7. Preheat broiler. Place the shredded meat on a cooking sheet, drizzle a little sauce over the top. Broil for 5-10 minutes, until edges of the pork start to brown.
  8. Serve on tortillas with fresh cilantro, avocado, cheese, lettuce, jalapeno, onion, hot sauce, and/or lime juice.  Basically top with whatever your preferred toppings for Mexican food are.  As BK would say “have it your way.”  However you have it; it’s going to be delicious!

Use the leftovers to make soup!20140312_190625

Other Pork & Mexican Recipes:

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2 responses to “Crockpot Carnitas

  1. Pingback: Weekly Menu 3-16-14 & Carnita Soup | The Pomeroy Life

  2. Pingback: Weekly Menu 3-16-14 & Carnita Soup

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