Monday, April 15, 2013

Killer Crockpot Carnitas (Slow Cooker)


Years ago I was watching Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. They showed a Mexican restaurant that people  lined up out the door for. Apparently they had killer carnitas which they showed how to make. I say they showed how to make them, but if you've ever seen the show you know that means they just listed off the ingredients and showed it start to finish in about 10 seconds. They made theirs in huge batches, but I watched it over and over until I figured out the proportions of ingredients. After a few experimental tries, and several years of making them, I'm pretty sure I've mastered pork carnitas. This meat is as good as it comes and makes one killer taco. If you are still making ground beef tacos, they will quickly become a thing of the past once you try this recipe. Get ready for taco cravings!


Ingredients

1 Pork Butt/Shoulder Roast (3-5 lbs)
2 tablespoons Cumin
1 tablespoon Chili Powder
1/2-1 tablespoon Cayenne Pepper (depending on how spicy you want it)
3/4 tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 tsp Ground Cloves
2 Bay Leaves
1 tablespoon Salt
2 cups Vegetable Oil


Instructions


1. Trim roast and slice into 1/4 inch thick pieces. Put directly into crock pot (or baking pan). I hate eating gristle and fat so trim, trim, trim!

2. Combine spices and toss into crock pot (or baking pan).

3. Add in the vegetable oil. Yes, it is a lot of oil, but fear not. If you skimp you won't get the same results. 

4. Toss together using hands until evenly coated with spice and oil goodness.

5. Cook on low setting for 6-8 hours until the meat can easily be shredded with a fork. 



35 comments:

  1. Love it! Thanks for recipe :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm always looking for new carnitas recipes. Can't wait to give this a whirl.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Have you ever tried using beef or chicken in place of pork?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have. Both beef and chicken work as well, but I find pork to be the best because it soaks up more of the flavor.

      Delete
    2. Can u use grape seed oil, olive or canola? Or does it have to be vegetable?

      Delete
    3. I make this with grapeseed all the time and it's great!

      Delete
  4. this is great too if you broil it for a few minutes to get the crispiness of carnitas! yum yum yum.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Does the oil get absorbed or can it be drained off? Have never made carnitas so have NO idea about any of this, lol. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, the oil doesn't all get absorbed. Just pull the meat out and discard the excess oil. It just makes it super delicious!

      Delete
  6. This recipe is amazing! I didn't use vegetable oil, I used leaf lard instead. Worked great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought vegetable oil was leaf lard. :)

      Delete
  7. This was sooo good! It totally passed the test with my Mexican husband! We served it with guacamole, refried beans and coconut rice.

    ReplyDelete
  8. How do I get it crispy after this process?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can turn the heat up to high for the last 1-2 hours, or you can put them in a shallow baking dish and roast them at 450 degrees in the oven for about 5 minutes.

      Delete
  9. Is the T for teaspoon or tablespoon?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In recipes, a capital T is for tablespoons and tsp is for teaspoons.

      Delete
    2. I made it, and the family loved it! I removed my pork from the crock pot and shredded it, do you shred yours in the oil? I was nervous the oil would be overwhelming.

      Delete
    3. I do shred mine in the oil. It drains off as you scoop it out so it isn't too big of a deal. I find it keeps the meat nice and moist and the leftovers store better in the oil.

      Delete
  10. You miss the orange, and it must be cooked with pork lard in a copper deep frying pan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by. Orange? Not really a traditional carnitas ingredient, but I may just give it a try sometime. As for the lard and deep frying pan, this was intended to be a slow cooker recipe which is why it is done with oil in a slow cooker.

      Delete
    2. The orange is a traditional ingredient from michoacan's carnitas, the authentic carnitas made in Mexico, your recipe is more like a pork barbacoa.

      Delete
    3. Aha! I cook more Baja style food (I live in San Diego so our cuisine is pretty dominated by Baja influences). Interesting to hear what it's like in different regions. This recipe isn't very reminiscent of barbacoa to me. Not sweet enough. I do have a local Mexico City style restaurant that I love. Maybe I'll have to stray from my typical Alambras orders and try their version of carnitas and see if I can taste any orange. Or shoot, I guess I could just ask them :)

      Delete
    4. You should try them on Mexican soil, in michoacan they made carnitas in copper because near is the city of Santa Clara del Cobre, a town rich in copper crafted utensils, and the orange is one of a few ingredients like sugar or coke to bring a light brown color on the outside and to help to acomplish a crispy outside but softy inside, also I can tell you that in Guadalajara they made a torta ahogada (soak sandwich) wich is a sanwich filled with pork carnitas and soak in a thick chile an tomato sauce with cured onions. Delicious, you should try more mexican dishes tha your alambres I recomend it to you, but in a real mexican coucine not that fancy restaurants that say they make mexican food. Anyway your recipes look really yummy.

      Delete
    5. How would you add orange? (whole, segments, juice?)Thanks :)

      Delete
  11. How many tacos/people do you think this would serve?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. and if I double it would you double the oil too?

      Delete
    2. It depends on how large your roast is, but 1/4 lb per person would be very generous. The oil should cover the trimmed and sliced meat. You don't have to worry about having too oil as you can always strain it off.

      Delete
    3. Thanks so much! I appreciate your help.

      Delete
  12. This recipe is FANTASTIC! I was worried about the amount of oil in the beginning, but it didnt make it greasy. Top it with mexican cabbage and it's perfect. thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I made this recipe for Christmas dinner and it was so delicious! The meat had so much flavor. I don't know where all the oil goes because it didn't taste oily at all. It was a huge hit. Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad your Christmas dinner was a hit! Thank you for taking the time to stop by and let me know. It ended my Christmas day with a big fat smile :)

      Delete
  14. We are from Dolores Hidalgo in Guanajuato and it is also traditional to use orange in the copper pots. We love Carnitas Vicente and he gave us the honor of allowingus to watch how they'remafe so every Dec 24 we have a carnitas party. I will so try your version just for the family. And the orange is used by by cutting it in about 6 sections and throwing it in during when the meat is producing a lot of juice when it begins to Brown you pull out the orange and crisp the meat

    ReplyDelete
  15. First, let me start by thanking you for this recipe. It is absolutely delicious and I couldn't have been happier with the results! However, I am lacking the in "sharp knife" department and cutting the meat into small pieces proved to be pretty difficult! Is this step necessary?

    ReplyDelete

ShareThis