After running a burrito shop for the past 6 months, I have become really familiar with carnitas.
And I mean really
familiar. I eat it every day, I can cook it with my eyes closed, and I know the flavors by heart. I dream carnitas!
The key to carnitas is not only the garlicky, spicy, citrus marinade, but also the fact that it’s slow roasted in its own fat, almost like duck confit. The result is the most tender, succulent meat you can imagine.
Translating the recipe to a slow cooker isn’t really a tough task. All you need to do is make sure you have the right amount of marinade/cooking liquid. Too much and you will drown the meat in sauce and it won’t have a chance to cook in its fat. Too little and the meat won’t have enough flavor. Follow my recipe for Slow Cooker Carnitas and you’ll be on the right track!
To make the marinade, just toss a few things in the food processor and turn it on.
Orange juice is the secret ingredient.
Let the pork sit in the marinade overnight.
Then in the morning before you leave for the day, dump the whole thing into the slow cooker. Make sure the liquid only goes about halfway up the pork.
After it cooks, tons of fat have rendered. The pork has essentially cooked in its own fat, just like its supposed to!
Dump it on to a baking sheet and shred it up.
Remove the fat from the cooking liquid, and then strain it. Add the liquid back to the shredded pork.
I think the best way to eat this is rolled up in a tasty tortilla with some rice, beans, and salsa, but usually a pork shoulder makes a lot of shredded pork, so here are some tasty recipes to make with the leftovers! Dan Whalen also has carnitas nightmares. He has been blogging for over 4 years at The Food in My Beard
; check Dan's Tablespoon profile often to try his recipes with creative international spins!