Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

One more recipe from Gina at! I made these last week and they were so good! Carnitas refers to any slow-cooked, seasoned meat and in this case we're using pork. Boneless pork shoulder/Boston Butt to be exact. Do not buy the pork shoulder picnic because it is fattier and has a large bone.

I actually bought my pork at Walmart - it was in a package labeled "boneless pork shoulder for carnitas" and I thought that sounded perfect. I was surprised to discover that once I opened the package I did not have a shoulder roast as I expected, but multiple PIECES of shoulder roasts! At first I was mad but then I looked on the bright side. This was a blessing in disguise. By having the roast in multiple pieces, that left more surface area for browning and seasoning which equals more flavor! So even if you buy a whole roast, I recommend cutting it up into 4-inch pieces for browning.

Dry adobo seasoning can be found in the Mexican section of your grocery store (or you can make your own - recipe here). Chipotle chili powder is made from chipotle peppers, which are smoked jalapenos and very spicy so keep that in mind when flavoring your pork.

adapted from

2.5 lb. pork shoulder blade roast, trimmed of fat
salt & pepper
1 tsp. olive oil
1 cup water
2 bay leaves
dry adobo seasoning
garlic powder
chipotle chili powder (or regular chili powder)

corn tortillas
sliced avocados
diced tomatoes
diced onions
chopped fresh cilantro
sour cream
lime wedges

Cut roast into 4-inch chunks; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and brown pork on all sides. Remove pork to a plate, reduce heat to low, and slowly add water to skillet. Simmer until all browned bits are incorporated and pour into slow cooker. Add bay leaves.

Generously sprinkle and rub adobo, garlic powder, and cumin all over pieces of roast. Sprinkle chipotle chili powder to taste. Place pork in slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours. After 8 hours, remove bay leaves and shred pork.

Optional: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place shredded pork and cooking liquid in shallow baking dish. Roast for 5-10 minutes or until edges are crispy:

Serve in corn tortillas with desired toppings and a squeeze of lime.

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