TSB and I wanted to make dinner for my family while home for the holidays, and thought it would be fun to undertake one of her family’s favorites, which would also bring her south-of-the-border heritage to the whitest state in the Union.
To hear her dad and step-mom talk about making Carnitas (Mexican pulled pork), you would think it was the most labor-intensive task, requiring a full day of dedication and attention to the pork, and that the process would nearly destroy your home, both through the filthy, airborne fat globules that attach themselves to every surface in the house, and the strain that the cooking will put on your relationship. MALARKEY! It was the easiest thing I’ve ever made, and it was delicious!
Many traditional recipes call for you to trim the fat off the pork and then cook it in lard. This must be the stupidest thing I have ever heard, “remove fat and then add fat.” Traditionally, carnitas is a stove-top endeavor that involves a lot of splattering fat, but it works just as well in a crockpot which you cover, fill and forget about, then finish in the oven, requiring almost no attention and creating no mess.
- 3.5 pounds boneless pork butt or shoulder, cut into 2 inch chunks
- 1.5 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Set crock pot to low, add a layer of pork, sprinkle with garlic powder and repeat until all meat and garlic have been used.
- Pour in enough broth to cover, put on the lid and let stew for 4 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 and remove pork from the cooking liquid onto a baking sheet.
- Using two forks, shred the chunks and spread them evenly. Season the pork with half the salt and put in oven.
- After 15 minutes, the top of the shredded pork should be getting crispy and brown. Turn over the pork and season with the remaining salt before putting it back in the oven for another 15 minutes.
- Serve with tortillas, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, rice and beans… or with hamburger buns, BBQ sauce and coleslaw.