Friday, September 17, 2010

Crock Pot Carnitas

I love cooking with a crock pot.  I don't use one that often but every time I do, I am reminded of how great it is and think to myself that I really should use it more often.  I love walking into my apartment after a long day of work and instantly smelling my hot dinner.  Yes, I usually panic a couple of times throughout the day thinking my apartment is burning down, but so far it has not burned down and it seems that whatever I throw into the crock pot always turns out great despite being left alone for 10 hours. 

This week I made Carnitas in the crock pot and it was delicious!  This is a simple recipe to throw together in the morning before leaving for work and uses very few ingredients which is always a plus!  I served mine with a side of Mexican rice (brown rice tossed with salsa) and some chips and homemade guacamole.

Crock Pot Carnitas
Serves 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8-10 hours on Low

1 pork tenderloin, approximately 1.5 lbs., trimmed of excess fat
1/2 tbsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. cumin
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tbsp. ground coriander
1/2 tbsp. minced orange zest1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 jalapeno, diced
1 bottle or can of beer (you want a lager)
2-3 dashes of Cholula (hot sauce)
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

Suggested Extras:
flour tortillas, avocado, corn salsa, queso fresco

Combine the salt, cumin, cinnamon, chili powder and coriander and rub on to the pork until completely covered. Add the onions, garlic, and jalapenos to the crock pot and place pork tenderloin on top. Carefully pour the beer around the pork, try not to knock too much of the rub off. If you have any extra spice rub, you can add it to the braising liquid. Cover and set the crock pot on low and cook for 8-9 hours.  I left mine on for 10 hours and it was great. You'll know when it's done when the meat pulls apart easily with a fork.

Shred the meat with a fork or your hands.  Mix 2-3 dashes of hot sauce into the pork and taste to see if you need to add any more seasonings.  Mix the cilantro into the shredded pork and serve with warm tortillas and any of your favorite toppings.

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