Sunday, February 24, 2013

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

Oh, another slow cooker meal?  Yes!  Better get used to it.  I love cooking pork in my slow cooker- BBQ pork, carnitas, all of it.  Pork just cooks so nicely in a crock pot and gets so tender and flavorful and shred-able.  I love it.  This is a recipe that I have made before and it has always been a big hit.  I got the inspiration from this recipe, but I adapted it a little bit, mainly to make it easier with more accessible ingredients.  It is super delicious, and tastes amazing served with my Cucumber Melon Salsa, which I also made tonight.  Here is what I did for the carnitas:

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
(serves 2 with plenty leftover)
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 or 2 chipotles in adobo sauce (more if you love spicy food)
  • 1/2 medium white onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 lb pork shoulder, cut into chunks (I buy a whole 4-5 lb shoulder, slice it in half, and get 2 meals worth out of it)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
Blend together garlic, jalapeno, onion, chipotles, 2 T olive oil, honey, vinegar, 1 T salt, and oregano in a blender (or use a handy blender immersion stick like I did).  Heat 1 T oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, then add the blended mixture to the pan.  Fry it up for a few minutes until it thickens and gets really fragrant.  Add the chicken broth and reduce for a few more minutes.  In the meantime, season the pork chunks with salt & pepper and place them in the slow cooker.  Add the cinnamon stick and bay leaves to the cooker.  Pour the liquid over top of the meat. Turn it on low for 7-8 hours, or high for 5-6 hours.

Here is what it should look like once the meat is ready to shred:

When you are ready to serve, carefully remove the pork chunks to a cutting board and use 2 forks to shred the meat.  I like to dump out most of the cooking liquid (leave about 1/4 cup in there), and then add the shredded meat back into the slow cooker to keep it warm and moist.  Serve it atop my Paleo Almond Flour Tortillas with your favorite toppings (like my salsa)!

This is so delicious, that I could just eat the meat plain, as is.  It's a great Paleo-friendly meal and since it is cooked in a slow cooker, it's easy!  I hope you enjoy it!

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