My husband is Mexican so the past 5 years that we have been together I have had to learn how to cook some of the more traditional dishes that he is used to eating. Carnitas has been one that I avoided mainly because of the time involved and lack of utensils to cook it how his family makes it. Well I knew I could make bbq pork in the crockpot, so I created my own recipe from that based on my husband’s taste preferences and it is a healthier version as well. So win-win, I can make it at home instead of buying from some where and it is not so greasy. Plus it makes enough pork to do multiple meals for my family and the seasonings are subtle enough that it is so versatile to be used for just about any recipe with pulled pork. This feeds my husband, myself and our two older boys for a few nights when we add in other dishes like beans, rice or veggies. So I spend about $15 on pork to feed us for 3 dinners and maybe a lunch or two. Definitely saves money which I like!
6lb pork shoulder/butt, remove any skin(mine usually has a giant bone in it as part of the weight which is ok)
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Chili Powder (if desired)
1 tbsp Chicken Bouillon
2 to 4 cups Water
2 bay leaves
1. Place bay leaves and pork into crock pot with enough water to go no more than 1/3 of the way up the pork with the chicken bouillon. It usually falls between 2 to 4 cups of water for me depending on the size of the pork shoulder/butt.
2. Sprinkle the rest of the seasonings on the exposed surfaces of the pork. Don’t worry if it isn’t all coated, you will still get flavor. Add chili powder if you want a bit of a kick.
3. Let it cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6.
4. At this point I will take it out and cut out the bone and start shredding some pieces then let sit on high for another hour. If you are patient you could just leave it be for another two hours and it should just fall off the bone. Just pour the broth over the meat.
5. Shred and let sit in the broth until needed.
Use meat as prepared above
1. Use a little bit of lard, oil or pork fat from the meat to fry the shredded pork. I use a cast iron pan for this.
2. Drain juice from the pork before putting in the pan. Some juice is ok.
3. Stir/mix until about half of the pork is crispy. 10 minutes or so. Go longer if you prefer it to be more crisp, less if you want more tender pieces.
4. Put in tacos or burritos or even eat as is!
Use meat as prepared above.
1. Drain broth from shredded pork and spread out on a cookie sheet. I like to line with foil to reduce clean up.
2. Place in the broiler for a few minutes until crispy. This varies based on your broiler/oven and you can make it less or more crispy based on your preferences.
Drain the shredded pork, mix with your favorite sauce and fill your tamales with it. I will have my sauce recipe up soon so stay tuned!
Prepare meat as above. Drain the broth and add in your favorite barbecue sauce. Enjoy on its own or as a sandwich with your favorite rolls.