OMG you MUST make this recipe! I’ll wait while you run to the store for a pork shoulder.
Back? Great! You gotta love pork shoulder–at under 2 bucks a pound, you get a lot of meals for your money. My grocery only sells whole shoulders–usually 10 pounds or so. This recipe calls for a 2-pounder. I just go ahead and buy a whole one.
When I get home, I get a cutting board that can go in the dishwasher, sharpen my knife and cut the shoulder into more workable pieces. I tried to cut 3 equal pieces, but as this is “bone in” I was limited to how I could cut it. I ended up with 2 pieces that were about 2 pounds and a larger one containing the bone, about 4 pounds. Safety note: wash hands carefully, before and after handling raw meat.
Then I put the pieces in freezer ziplocs, label and freeze for later. One of them just went into the fridge because I wanted to use it the next day for these amazing carnitas!!!
This recipe couldn’t be easier and can be started before you leave for work in the morning. When you get home, dinner will be mostly ready and your house will smell divine!
Gather up your ingredients for Melt-in-your-mouth Slow Cooker Carnitas: (based on a recipe from Low-Carb Slow Cooker Recipes)
2 pounds of pork shoulder (Definitely use the cheaper pork shoulder as opposed to the pricer and leaner tenderloin. The tenderloin will be too dry to “pull.”)
1 cup water
2 large onions, peeled and quartered
3 fresh jalepenos, chopped, seeds and all–it will not make the meat overly spicy. (I have a bag of frozen jalapenos from last year’s garden–I just get out what I need and let them thaw on the counter. Pickled jalepenos would make this recipe too vinegar-y.)
8 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Trim the excess fat from the pork–you won’t get it all, remove the rest as you shred it later.
Place meat in the slow cooker, add water and the rest of the ingredients.
Handy tip: Hot peppers can literally burn your skin, and anywhere else (eyes–ouch!) that you touch. To minimize this, use rubber gloves or handle the pepper by its stem. I hold it by the stem and make some cuts lengthwise and then cut across, retaining the stem end to use as a “pusher.” Scoop up the pepper pieces with your knife and push them into the pot using the stem end. I still wash my hands thoroughly with soap and water after.
Cover and cook on low setting for 8-10 hours, or on high setting for 4-5 hours. (I did the high setting and was super happy with the results!) Remove the meat to a shallow bowl and discard the cooking liquid.
Use two forks to shred the amazingly tender and succulent meat. Be ready to slap any hands that wander by and try to sneak some before dinner! You, as the cook, are allowed to taste. This is called “quality control.”
Use this uber-yummy spicy pork to make sandwiches, burritos or tacos. We made tacos. I set out cheese, salsas, sour cream, sliced avocado, chopped green onion, queso, flour tortillas, soft corn tortillas, lettuce, and hard taco shells. Mr16 made his with 2 flour tortillas with a layer of queso in between, lots of meat, green onion and cheese:
DH is watching his carbs so made his with lettuce leaves, meat, green onions, salsa and cheese (low carb option):
I made mine with soft corn tortillas, cheese, meat, tomatillo salsa, avocado, green onion, sour cream and lettuce:
We had enough meat for 2 tacos a piece (remember there is a teenager eating here–he uses lots of meat in his tacos!), plus some leftover. I am totally making this again….I’m dreaming of a yummy carnitas burrito with pinto beans and green chili…..mmmmmmm!