Easy Carnitas at Home

So if you’re like me, you dig Mexican food. And if you’re EXACTLY like me, when you’re ordering a taco or a Burrito you ask for Carnitas.

Well I found this recipe online, and it looks really good.

LOOKS good, but I never tried it. Instead I made my own version copying really only the last bit.

So to start off you need a fatty piece of pork, preferably something that has some bone in it. A Boston Butt or Picnic shoulder is ideal, but my last batch I used bone-in loin ribs or country style ribs.

Get about 2-5 lbs, the amount of meat really doesn’t matter.

So I would have no hesitation using Chef John’s seasoning, but really I went much more simple.

So I toss the pork into my slow cooker whole, and add
1 onion chopped
4 cloves of garlic, slivered
1 large bay leaf
1 green bell pepper, Chopped (if you have an Anaheim pepper even better!)
Juice from one Orange, and one lime
Fresh ground pepper

Let that sucker go on low for 8 hours. (This is why I haven’t tried chef John’s method, no trimming of meat, no oven which I don’t trust as much as my slow cooker)

Once the meat is done, pick out the bones, skin, and vegetable matter, and put the meat on a baking sheet, and bust it up into smallish chunks (see the video for approximate size, but really whatever size you want your carnitas) then take a basting brush and dip it into the liquid in the bottom of the crock pot….try and just skim the surface so you’re getting more fat than anything else, and start painting those meat chunks until they are shiny.

Then toss the whole thing under your broiler on high. DO NOT WALK AWAY, keep a close eye on it, and as soon as you see browning, pull it out and test it for crispness.

Oh and strain out the liquid in the crock pot….you can use that stuff to make enchilada sauce from this recipe.

Now what’s nice about this stuff, is not only is it awesome, but since I didn’t spice the hell out of it (I just smother it in salsa and hot sauce when I use it), if you get sick of Mexican you can cover it with BBQ sauce and make a really interesting pulled pork. The added crispness really makes for a great pulled pork sandwich. Also if you had some ham, you could make a pretty damn good Cuban sandwich!

All of that and it’s stupid easy, and uses REALLY cheap pork, so it’s a nice meal for short money!

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1 Response to Easy Carnitas at Home

  1. James says:

    Mmmmm. You’re doing it right.

    3 ½ – 4 pound boneless pork butt/shoulder, cut into six equal pieces
    2 teaspoons salt
    1 teaspoon pepper
    1 tablespoon oregano
    1 tablespoon cumin
    8 cloves garlic, crushed
    1 medium onion, quartered
    3 bay leaves
    1 lime, juiced
    1 large orange, juiced (toss in the spent halves too)

    I cook the pork mostly whole without dicing, then pull the pork after it’s cooked. Then crisp under broiler like Chef John. I frequently double the whole lot; the remainders freeze well.

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