June 11, 2011 3 Comments
This recipe became another 90° day keep cool meal this past week. Dinner Hummus was lovely for one night, but we had three straight sticky days and beans weren’t going to cut it. We had some Woodbridge Farm Heritage pork shoulder in our freezer. How to cook it without a huge hassle?
Thanks to a slow cooker, it was really a breeze. The addition of a few lazy margaritas [1) limeade + reposado + triple sec + ice, 2) shake, 3) imbibe], dinner was on the table in about 10 minutes and without overheating. Really, what more do you need?
→ For the crockpot:
Pork butt or shoulder, trimmed of most of the fat
One 28 oz can whole tomatoes or one quart home-canned tomatoes
→ For the carnitas:
Equal parts chili powder, pimentón and granulated garlic (more or less 1 scant tablespoon each per person)
Grilled corn tortillas
Toppings of choice
Put the pork in the crock pot, covered with the mustard, hot sauce and garlic. If you don’t like hot sauce, don’t worry, the pork isn’t spicy. The point here is to get super flavorful, moist pork. Add the whole tomatoes, and squish with your hands to break up a bit. I wouldn’t recommend wearing white, even if you are super careful it always ends up on your shirt. I speak from experience. The pork needs to cook on low for at least 8 hours. Prepare first thing in the morning, head to work, it will be ready when you come home.
To make carnitas, heat flour tortillas until soft and a little browned on a griddle or a cast iron skillet. Place in a clean kitchen towel to keep warm. Add some bacon fat, and more or less one cup of shredded pork per person – your mileage may vary. Once warm, toss in the spices. You might need a bit of liquid here – either a bit more fat, some water, or some beer. Mmm beer. Ahem. Wait until the pork gets crispy – it will be quickly – and add toppings. I recommend sharp cheese and/or sour cream, fresh mustard greens, and chipotle hot sauce. Add at least one margarita, go sit in front of a fan, and don’t move for at least 30 minutes.
1. For the initial crockpot liquid, you can change it up in a variety of ways. Beer, wine, homemade stock, chipotles in adobo, worcestershire, onions… any combination of liquids and spices would be great. Anything to lend flavor.
2. Do you really need the bacon fat? Probably not. But it was in the fridge and pork cant go wrong with more pork.
3. Some pickled shallots or onions would be great. I happen to be all out – time to make some more!
These were NOT inspired by The Kitchn’s Heatwave Carnitas – I swear – even though the method is essentially the same. Great minds think alike!