Holy crap. I just made the most amazing pork carnitas and you’re welcome in advance. Man! You know how sometimes you make something and it either takes a lot of effort, or takes a long time to cook, and when it’s finally done, you’re disappointed? Well, this is not one of those times. Sure, this takes some time to cook, and a little bit of effort, but the end result will knock your socks off. Promise.
I’ve been thinking about making a pork focused recipe for a while, but I just haven’t been able to pull the trigger. My Great Uncle Dick makes quite possibly THE BEST pork roast ever, but that will have to wait until post challenge because it features Worcestershire sauce which is a no-no at the moment. Stupid sugar. Plus, he marinades his roast for days and ain’t nobody got time for that… or at least I didn’t have the foresight to buy and marinade the pork 3 days ago.
I didn’t want to make traditional pulled pork because that typically involves a BBQ sauce, which is a tomato based item and I’m trying to avoid tomatoes as much as I can due to them causing me some “GI distress”... You’ll see later in the recipe that I ended up using some salsa so this becomes a moot point, but I digress.
I’ve been on a bit of a mexican kick lately so I started googling around for pork inspired mexican dishes and stumbled upon a few carnitas recipes that sounded promising. As with most of the things I cook for the first time, I usually check out a bunch of recipes and pull inspiration from there, subbing out non-paleo items for something on the approved list, removing things I don’t like (go home, cilantro). One of the recipes I saw calls for a 12 oz can of beer. I obviously didn't use that, but maybe I'll play around with using a cider in the future!
Behold, the best (or maybe just the only) pork carnitas I’ve tasted!
What you’ll need
- 3 lbs pork butt, trimmed of fat and cut into two inch cubes
- 1 whole onion, halved
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon (yes, I thought this would be weird, but trust me. You want this)
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon chipotle hot sauce
- juice of 2 limes
- juice of 1 orange
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons salsa
What you’ll do
- Trim the pork of as much fat as you can and cut into 2 inch cubes
- Place the meat in the crock pot and add the garlic and all the spices, mixing everything around with your hands to get the meat covered
- Add the onion
- Add the lime juice, orange juice, beef and chicken broth, hot sauce and salsa
- Cover and cook on high for 6 hours, or until the pork is tender enough to break apart with a fork
- Once the pork is done, remove it from the crock pot and shred the meat with two forks
- Discard the onions and pour the sauce into a sauce pan. SImmer on high heat until the sauce reduces and is almost syrupy
- Once reduced, add the meat to the sauce pan and give it a good swirl to make sure all the meat is bathing in the delicious sauce
- Preheat broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the shredded meat and sauce mixture on the baking sheet and space out so it forms a single layer. Broil for 5-10 minutes or until you get browned edges on the pork. Then flip with a spatula and broil for another 5-10 minutes until that side is browned
- Taste and freak out over how good it is
- Or, whip up some cauliflower tortillas and server over that with a fresh squeeze of lime juice
This picture sucks, let's be honest. So you should probably make this yourself so you can see how beautiful it is, in person. Ready, go!