Slow Cooker Carnitas. There are no words. You know that distinctive smell of delicious whenever you walk into Chipotle? Yeah, that’s what our house smelled like the day Will slow cooked the pork. That beautiful smell of spicy meat, cilantro, black beans, and fresh pico de gallo all about to end up in your tummy. And in our tummy it has gone all week because this recipe is HUGE. I’m drafting this on Thursday night and there is still plenty of pork and beans leftover despite Will and I eating a pretty decent amount for the last four nights. Yes, four nights and we still have leftovers. We think we’re going to make burritos with the rest and freeze them for a later date. It has almost been too much food. Almost.
Will selected this menu from a combination of The Kitchn and Budget Bytes. Although there are many slow cooker carnitas recipes out there, this is the one that caught Will’s attention so I knew it was going to be good!
Cooking Notes: Will used crushed tomatoes instead of a cup of tomato juice. He also added one cup of water instead of orange juice.
Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas (adapted from The Kitchn; serves 6-8)
1 4-7 pound pork butt (also known as pork shoulder)
2 tbsp coarse salt
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp dried oregano
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp cayenne pepper
8 whole cloves garlic, smashed
4 chipotle peppers (canned or dried)
1 cup tomato juice (or crushed tomatoes)
1 cup orange juice (or water)
Trim excess fat from meat and discard. Place all ingredients in slow cooker. Set to cook on low for 8 hours. Meat is done when it falls off the bone. When cool, lift the meat form the juices and place in a large bowl. Remove the bone and shred the meat. Skim the fat from the juices and keep it in the crockpot to reheat the meat in.
Serve on soft tortillas with black beans, pico de gallo, cheese, sour cream, and fresh cilantro!
Spicy Black Beans (from Budget Bytes)
1 lb. (2 cups) dry black beans
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 tbsp cumin
1 medium jalapeno, diced and seeds removed
1/2 onion (red or white)
salt to taste
5 cups water
Sort through beans to remove any stones or damaged beans. Rinse the beans well to remove any dust. Place beans in the slow cooker. Add the can of diced tomatoes (including juices), 4 cloves of garlic, jalapeno, and 1/2 tbsp of cumin. Add 5 cups of water, secure the lid and set the heat to high.
After four hours open the slow cooker and check the beans to make sure they are tender. At that point, they should be fully cooked-if not, continue to cook them for a couple hours. When done, season the beans with salt.
Recipe: Budget Bytes: Spicy Black Beans
Pico de Gallo (from Budget Bytes)
1 large ripe tomato
1/2 medium red onion
1 medium lime
1/4 bunch cilantro
salt to taste
Finely chop tomato and onion. Wash and shake dry cilantro before chopping. Combine tomato, onion and cilantro in a bowl. Squeeze the lime juice from half a lime and add salt to your liking.
Recipe: Budget Bytes: Pico de Gallo