This was the first time I tackled carnitas and I was scared. Some recipes called for lard? Yikes! I have always loved them from afar and thought it would take me years to get the recipe down. But there must have been magic in the air last Tuesday night, because this stuff is crackalackin good. I had a large pork boston butt and we were ready to get down!
It all started with the pork. DO NOT TRIM THE FAT!!!!!! This is not a weight watchers meal people. If you want to not gain a thousand pounds from eating it, just try to restrain yourself from stuffing the entire batch in your mouth. It’s difficult. The fat is what makes everything happen in this meal. It gives flavor to the pork and sauce and it helps crisp up the pork bits when you fry it up later. The fat is good. And if you got a pig from a local farmer like we did, it’s pretty healthy fat from a very good source. I didn’t worry about it too much. Ok, I’ve talked about fat for far too long.
I cut up the pork into smaller chunks hoping to get the rub over every bit I could. You do not have to do this, you can simply cover the entire butt in the rub. Also, I used a crock pot for this concoction. You can use a dutch oven, but you need to be home for the 4-8 hours to supervise the meat, and who’s got time to do that?
Mix together your rub….I used coriander, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. I didn’t want the strong flavors of cumin or chile powder, you can definitely go that route, but this recipe ends up being more unctuous rather than spicy.
Smear the rub all over the pork.
Toss in the orange juice, squeeze in a lime. Chop a whole onion and a few garlic cloves too. Toss it all in the crock pot together. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4.
OMGERD, when you take the lid off of this concoction, it looks a little crazy. the fat has rendered down and there are a ton of juices. But the smell, oh dear, it is good.
Shred the pork while it is still in the liquid, if you remove it too soon, it may dry out. Let it sit for a little to get to more room temperature (turn off the heat on your crock pot). Then separate the pork and the liquid.
Cook the liquid down in a sauce pan for about 7 minutes, until you are left with a thicker, beautiful sauce.
While this is happening, place the pork in a fry pan and spread out evenly. Let the pork fry up until it is brown and crispy. The beauty of this is it will somehow still stay moist. Don’t let it go for too long. About 5-8 minutes is all it takes.
Reunite the pork with the sauce and serve with homemade tortillas, limes, cotija cheese (crumbly white mexican cheese), and of course cilantro.
You can also stuff this into empanadas, top on salad, or even add to ramen noodles. This is my jam right here mmmmmmmm, good.
- 2 lb. boston butt roast (pork)
- 4 Tablespoons ground coriander
- 1 Tablespoon black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 Tablespoon onion powder
- 1 cup orange juice
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 whole onion
- 5 cloves of garlic
- Homemade Tortillas
- Cotija Cheese
- Lime Wedges
- Cut the pork into large chunks and place in a crock pot.
- Mix together all of the spices in a bowl.
- Rub the spices all over the pork.
- Pour the orange juice and lime juice into the crock pot.
- Cut up the onion and garlic into rough chunks and place into the crock pot.
- Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for four.
- Shred the pork in the liquid when it has finished cooking.
- Let cool to room temperature.
- Separate the pork from the liquid.
- Reduce the liquid in a sauce pan until about half (ten minutes).
- While reducing, place pork in a fry pan and spread into a thin layer. Cook on high for about 3 minutes and then flip over, the pork should be brown and have crispy edges.
- Combine the pork with the sauce again.
- Serve with tortillas, cheese, lime wedges, and cilantro!!
- You need a crock pot for this recipe!