The Place for the Healthy Foodie and Hurried Chef
I DOMINATE crockpot carnitas.
I haven’t mastered a lot of Mexican dishes yet, but carnitas I can manage.
I have tried two recipes so far in my young life and I like this one better. I found it on Food Network’s website here. These carnitas are a complete success. They are sweet and savory, moist and super tender. If you make the carnitas with pork tenderloin, they are really lean (only 1pp per oz for us Weight Watchers). My husband likes them better with pork shoulder like the recipe states, but we all have to make sacrifices don’t we?
Anyways, I always follow the recipe exactly and it comes out super great every time. Though there is a jalepeño in here, I haven’t found that it makes the carnitas spicy, I think it is just in there to round out the sweetness of the oranges and savory flavors of garlic and onion.
I recommend letting the carnitas cook overnight for 10 hours on low, I just think they come out softer. I have also cooked them on high for 4 hours and they were good (if you have less time). I know the recipe says to fry them on one side before serving, but I always skip that since I don’t want the extra oil on my food. The meat goes from the crockpot to a tortilla <3.
Recipe courtesy of Melissa d’Arabian
2 pounds boneless pork shoulder (or 2 1/2 pounds bone-in)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and ribs removed, chopped
1 orange, cut in half (I always use two, I just love the flavor)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1. Rinse and dry the pork shoulder. Salt and pepper liberally.
2. Mix the oregano and the cumin with olive oil and rub all over pork.
3. Place the pork in a slow cooker and top with the onion, garlic, and jalapeno. Squeeze over the juice of the orange and add the two halves. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high 4 hours.
4. Once the meat is tender, remove from slow cooker and let cool slightly before pulling apart with a fork.
5. In a large saute pan, heat the vegetable oil over high heat. Press the carnitas into the oil and fry until crusty on one side. Serve.
To serve I usually just throw these on a tortilla with some fresh red or green salsa, cilantro, and avocado. To keep this healthier, I recommend serving the carnitas with a vegetable side, such as refried beans, corn, or a chile poblano filled with cheese.
For a super-Mexican treat, heat up a tortilla and melt 15g of cheese on it, add your carnitas and add-ons. Eat. Repeat. This is called a “cochinita” (little pig), I eat them every time I go to my favorite carnitas place called Cochinitos. Enjoy!