pork

carnitas

carnitas

carnitas

There are zero skills required to make super rich, melty-crispy batch of carnitas.  The only thing you will need is some time.  Not the laborious, hands-on sort, just the it’s-cooking-in-the-slow-cooker-kind.  There are many schools of thought around the "best" method for making carnitas; I've opted for the simplest, let the pork do it's thing way.  No need to add lard or oil or to sear the meat before.  Really.  Once the fat from the meat has been coaxed out and into the cooking liquid, all you have to do is wait.  The pork is so juicy, you run no risk of drying it out when you crisp it under the broiler in the last step.

Use the deeply flavored meat as a filling for tacos, burritos, on nachos or simply with some sliced avocado, lime wedges and hot sauce.

carnitas

4-5-pounds boneless pork shoulder (boston butt)

1 T smoked salt

1 t chile powder

2 bay leaves

1 t ground cumin

1 onion, thinly sliced

3 cloves of garlic, peeled 

2 oranges, thickly sliced

1 tsp dried oregano

2 T lime juice

chicken broth

ideas to serve:

fresh corn tortillas

shredded cabbage

crumbled cotija

lime wedges

Divide the shoulder into 5 or so similarly sized pieces, trimming away as much excess fat as you’d like.

the pig and the fig carnitas

the pig and the fig carnitas

Place in the pork in a slow cooker or a heavy bottomed-dutch oven type pot.  Sprinkle the meat with the salt and chili powder. Top with the remaining ingredients and add the broth until the meat is just covered.

carnitas

carnitas

Cover and cook on low for about 8 hours, until the pork is super tender and easy to shred.  When it has reached this point, carefully remove the meat (in whole pieces, if possible) and place on a cutting  board.

carnitas

carnitas

Turn your broiler to high.  Shred the meat and place on a single layer on a baking sheet. Spoon a small amount of the cooking liquid over the pork.  Broil the meat until the tops have just caramelized and remove from the oven.  Serve as desired.

carnitas

carnitas