Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Crockpot Carnitas

Okay folks, this is my first post and I gotta tell ya, I'm a bit nervous...
What to do when you're nervous about posting food for the entire world to read/see...?
Post killer food.
Hence, this recipe for Carnitas.
It's "off the hook" yummy.
No, I don't normally talk like that.
Please stay...
I promise it'll be worth it.
So first thing you do is get either a pork shoulder roast or some boneless pork country style ribs. I think the ribs are easiest, cuz if you get the roast you have to take the time to cut it into chunks. I have four kids. I do not have time to cut meat both before I cook it and before it goes into their mouths. So I get the ribs.
Rub it all over with salt and let it sit in the fridge overnight. If you accidentally skip this step (eg. fall asleep on the couch with your mouth open at 9pm like I do) just salt the pork before you stick it in the crockpot.
Next, brown it in a big heavy pot. Put some oil in the bottom of the pot and sear the meat. If you are too lazy (or running late), never fear, cuz you can just throw it in the crockpot as is.
Salted, that is.
Above is the meat simmering away while I fold laundry.
Don't you love a crockpot meal?
And yes, that is a recipe for The Barefoot Contessa's Outrageous Brownies in the background, complete with chocolate smear.
Mix together in a small saucepan:
Some water,
1 Tbsp chile powder
1 Tbsp ancho chile powder
1 cinnamon stick
garlic (as much as you like)
2 tsp cumin
Warm the water and whisk the seasonings in. Pour it over the meat in the crockpot. If you decide you have the time to sear the meat first, you can do this in the pot you seared it in so as to deglaze the pot. This is not rocket science. You don't have to boil the water or even heat it up very hot.
Add 2 bay leaves to the crockpot, along with more water until the meat is 3/4 covered, and close the lid.
Cook on high for about 5 hours. My crockpot is veeeeeeeeeery old, however (as is my microwave, which takes about 5 min to pop a small bag of popcorn) so you may want to turn yours down to low. Just get the meat cooked until it's falling apart.

Next, shred the meat.
Spread it on a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan and heat your oven to 400.
Take the juice from the crockpot and put it in your gravy fat separator (aren't you glad you have one and are using it more than one time a year at Thanksgiving...? You're welcome).
After about 15 minutes of roasting the meat, I pour a little of the juice over the meat, stir it up with tongs, then stick it back in the oven. I repeat this 2-3 times. This is the crucial step. You don't want dry Carnitas. But you do want them CRISPY. So set your timer and make sure you don't forget about them while you're eating your BonBon's, reading your novel, taking your bubble bath....ahhhhh....
It should look like this (ignore the double jointed thumb and fingernail I chopped off with my BIG knife while slicing tomatoes, please):
We love this meal.
It doesn't even matter if it's on paper plates.
Top with coleslaw (mix up some mayo, lime juice, cilantro, and apple cider vinegar for a quick dressing), avocado, Cotija cheese, sour cream, spread refried black beans on the tortilla, whatev's...
Toast your corn tortillas and you'll be in heaven.
And make the Barefoot Contessa's Brownies for dessert.

(Courtesy to David Lebovitz, adapted from his Carnitas recipe)


Nancy said...

Yummy!! Thanks, I always love a crockpot meal!!! I will be making these this weekend.

Emilie said...

That looks so so so good! My mouth was watering as I read through the recipe.