Carnitas Recipe Straight Outta L.A.

Welcome to one of America’s most addicting dishes; tacos carnitas.

This slow-cooker carnitas recipe is more of a “method” than a recipe but off the charts just the same. This can be your approach for various carnitas style tacos or any pulled pork for that matter. Just substitute your aromatics or the “direction” you would like to take for your dish (e.g. BBQ, Korean, etc.).

If you have a slow-cooker and a butcher nearby, you are good to go. I like to start with a 4-5 lb. block of pork butt (or shoulder). It’s plenty of pork for a group of people. I always procure mine from Wholefoods, Trader Joes or Union Market here on the East Coast. They are great sources for pork butt or pork shoulder. If you have a local business/butcher you trust, that’s even better.

Turn your slow cooker on and your favorite musìca norteña. My Crock-pot takes about 10-15 minutes to warm up and I don’t want to wait around with a big fat seasoned butt in my hands. Well, not pork butt that is.

Measure out all these rub-a-dub ingredients for the pork butt.

  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tbl fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbl freshly ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground dried ancho pepper powder
  • 1 tbl smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp light agave
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 orange

Score the fat on the pork butt. I always start with the agave then the salt. I need to see the coverage so I don’t over season and since agave is sticky it lays down first. Once that is done I dust the rest of the ingredients on top.

You may roll your eyes at these small amounts but the important part of my cooking is keeping the seasoning in check especially if salsa is going to ride piggy back. I want to taste the pork and I want it to work well with other parts of the dish or various condiments.

Carnitas, Órale Pues

Line the bottom of the Crock-pot or slow cooker with half of a sliced white onion, a few smashed garlic cloves, the lime and orange. This flavors the carnitas from the bottom as it steams and cooks. Place the pork butt skin-side up. This allows the fats and spices to drain through the meat. Cook for 8 hours. Oh, wow, you are on your way!

What’s next? A little limey slaw will do the trick for this carnitas recipe. Simply quick pickle some red onions, shred some red cabbage, and shave a radish. You can also make some tomatillo salsa real quick or just ready a bottle of Tapatio.

The pork will go through various stages and colors. From pink to a light grey. Then from a light grey to a darker grey and then toward a brownish tone. You shouldn’t keep opening the lid. Just trust me on this one. If you look at your pork at the end of 8 hours and it’s light grey, you have probably done something horribly wrong like not turn the crock-pot on or turned it to warm instead.

Turn the slow-cooker off and cool for 15 minutes. Once you cool it you can remove the pork from the “fat soup” in the bottom. At this time you can also remove the fat unless you are like my wifey and like to eat that sort of thing.

Plate that with all your fix’ins and you are good to go. Another option here is to broil it for 3-5 minutes to crisp it up. Depends on what you want to do with your carnitas.

Enfocado y Disfrútala!

Pulled Porks Carnitas

Ingredients

  • 4-5 lbs. pork butt
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tbl fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbl freshly ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground dried ancho pepper powder
  • 1 tbl smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp light agave
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 orange
http://www.thinkeatdrink.com/carnitas-recipe/

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