I like to feature awesome moms (or dads) making awesome home cooked meals for their families. Remember, sharing a home cooked meal with friends and family brings us closer together. This recipe for pork carnitas submitted by my friend Liz Lund is both versatile and a crowd pleaser. And here’s her recipe!
I have two small children and am a stay at home mom. By small I mean a 3 month old and an almost 4 yr old. I live for the easy but nutritious dinner… this fits that bill. It is tasty served on its own or with black beans and Spanish rice. I love it the next day. And if you’re tired of the Mexican flavors, you can add BBQ sauce for pulled pork or quesadillas or… whatever you want to do with it.
What you’ll need:
A slow cooker (or dutch oven with a lid – bake at 300 F for about 4 hrs instead)
A pork shoulder (preferably bone in as it enhances the flavor)
salt and pepper
2 bay leaves
tortillas (corn if you’re gluten-free; or if you’re paleo and then you just skip this part)
diced red onion (about ¼ cup)
avocados or guacamole
and KEY INGREDIENT: sliced limes
Chulula Sauce (or tomatillo or whatever you prefer)
In a perfect world, you sear your pork shoulder… I’m a slacker and rarely do this step. Shoot I’ve put the shoulder in frozen solid and it turned out just fine (it really is better to have it defrosted but meh.. some days you do what you gotta do). Cover the shoulder with equal parts cumin and oregano. For a 3-4 lbs shoulder expect to use about 2 tbsp of cumin and oregano. No measuring is required just slather the spices on the shoulder until you can’t see the meat. Put about 1 tbsp of dried garlic powder on the pork. If you love garlic add more. Place the two bay leaves in the bottom of the slow cooker and put the meat in with the slab of fat facing up. As it cooks the fat slowly moves through the meat enhancing the awesome flavor. Put in the slow cooker for 8-10 hrs. If you’re using a dutch oven or even a roasting pan make sure it’s covered to retain the juiciness of the meat (tin-foil works just fine with a roasting pan… I just think the slow cooker is easier).
Pull out the portions you think you’ll use for dinner and dice it up. I found that the pork falls off the bone and it can be a challenge (oh gee my pork is so tender it’s falling off the bone, problem!). Put the diced meat on a hot frying pan and cook it till it crisps up a bit. Put whatever you want into a tortilla with some fresh limes squeezed on it. Leftovers are delish.
- 3 to 4 lb pork shoulder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp cumin
- 2 tbsp oregano
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 bay leaves
- tortillas corn or flour
- 1/2 to 1 cup tomatoes diced
- 1/4 cup red onion diced
- fresh cilantro handful chopped
- cheese shredded, your choice - cheddar, Mexican mix
- sour cream for topping
- avacado sliced, for topping or guacamole
- limes sliced, juice for topping
- hot sauce like Chulula sauce, for topping
Rub the pork shoulder all over with the spices until you can't see the meat. Place 2 bay leaves into the bottom of the slow cooker. For the most flavor, sear your pork shoulder first on all sides before placing it into the slow cooker. Place the meat in with the slab of fat facing up. As it cooks the fat slowly moves through the meat enhancing the awesome flavor. Cook in the slow cooker for 8-10 hrs. If you’re using a dutch oven or even a roasting pan make sure it’s covered to retain the juiciness of the meat (tin-foil works just fine with a roasting pan).
Pull out the portions you think you’ll use for dinner and dice it up. I found that the pork falls off the bone easily. Put the diced meat on a hot frying pan and cook it till it crisps up a bit. Put whatever you want into a tortilla with some fresh limes squeezed on it.