Friday, September 17, 2010

Carnitas, slow cooker style

When I was pregnant with Katie and craving burritos every other day, we ate a lot of Chipotle for dinner. Gaby decided she did not want a kids' quesadilla, thank you very much, and would eat the same thing every time we went -- carnitas burrito, hold the beans, lettuce, and cheese. Every single time.
We don't eat Chipotle much these days, mostly because I don't crave burritos every other day. But when we do, she still gets the same thing. Every time.
A while back I came across a recipe for carnitas you could make in your slow cooker. I figured I'd give it a shot, and see if mine was as good as Chipotle's in the eyes of my very discerning 7 year old. Well, she ate two tacos that night, and patted her belly when she was done and said "that is really good meat, Mom." So I guess it passes the inspection.

The original recipe is here, but I didn't measure much of anything. Here's how I did it.

Put one 1 fresh ham (probably about 9 pounds) in slow cooker. Season with cumin, salt, pepper, oregano, cinnamon and garlic powder.
Throw a bunch of chipotle peppers into the crockpot. I used the kind in the can, and probably added 6 or so. It's a big roast. You could add more if you want spicy, I could hardly tell I'd used them in the final product.
On top of that, pour in one can of diced tomatoes (no salt added) and one cup of orange juice.
Cover and cook until the meat falls off the bone. For us that was about 9 hours.
Refrigerate overnight.
The next day, skim the gross amount of fat off the top. It'll be solidified, so it'll be easy. Then, shred all the pork. Pour some of the liquid from the crockpot (in my case, this has jelled because of the gelatin in the bones, so I just scooped it) on top of the meat. Heat in the microwave.

Make your tacos or burritos any way you like them. In Gaby's case, it's carintas, lettuce, cheese and olives.

This made enough meat for us to have dinner last night, and put away three more portions (in the freezer) for dinners later on.

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