Sunday, April 19, 2009

Carnitas

We ended up not having dinner last night because we were still so full from lunch. Well, the boy had chicken nuggets, but the husband and I weren't hungry. We went on a hike in the morning with some friends and then came back to our house and got Mexican take-out for lunch from Carolina's. Lordy mama, was it ever good. Definitely some of the best Mexican food I've ever had. Their tortillas have won awards for being the best in Phoenix. Were they ever!! I wanted to wrap myself up in them. I was glad I had the husband pick up a dozen, although it took a lot of self control on our parts to not chow down on all of them yesterday.

I had planned on trying a new risotto recipe tonight, but I wanted to use the tortillas for something other than just snacking. I recently checked out a make your own take out cookbook from the library, so I checked the Mexican section of that for ideas. I saw a recipe for carnitas and went, "That's it!" The recipe for them in that cookbook sounded weird, so I started Googling. I wanted something I could do in the crockpot, and I found a basic recipe to follow and then decided I'd change it up a bit. I love carnitas, so I'm really excited and hope this turns out well. The recipe below is how I'm doing them.

Crockpot Carnitas
1.5 pounds boneless pork ribs
4 cloves garlic, each cut into four pieces
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/8 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1 small can diced green chilies
1 bottle beer
Tortillas
Burrito fixings (tomatoes, cheese, olives, onions, lettuce, cilantro, guacamole, sour cream, etc.)

With a knife, cut several small slits into the ribs. Insert pieces of garlic cloves in roast. Place pork in slow cooker. Sprinkle cumin, coriander, and chili powder over pork. Sprinkle cilantro and chilies over pork. Pour beer into crockpot. Cover. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or until pork is done. Once pork is cooked through, remove from slow cooker and shred with two forks. Add in some of the cooking liquid. Serve with warm tortillas and burrito fixings of your choice.

*****

I'm totally excited for this, and I'm excited to smell them cooking all day. This will be a great way to use up the remaining tortillas from yesterday's feast. I think I might make some of Jen B's pinto beans to put in the burritos, too. I found a recipe on RecipeZaar.com for carnitas where you cooked beans with the pork, but I don't have any dried pinto beans, and I really wanted to make this today. So I figured I'd make Jen's beans instead. I seriously cannot wait for dinner tonight--I don't know what I'm more excited for, the carnitas or having more of these tortillas!

*****

My review of this is tricky because I woke up with a nasty cold and have no sense of taste. To me they tasted like they could have used some more flavor or spice, but they may have been right on. I think I read somewhere that when using dried spices in the crockpot you should use more because of the long cooking time? Or maybe that was for fresh. Hmmm. Either way, I think jacking up the spices some more would help and maybe adding some fresh cilantro to the shredded meat as well as putting it in the crockpot. I'm always looking for a new way to use boneless ribs, so I'll probably try this again. Jen's pinto beans were really yummy in the burritos with the carnitas.

3 comments:

Jen B. said...

Sounds really good and super-easy! Yum!!!! I love Mexican food(and Carolina's tortillas).

La Traductora said...

This recipe sounds so good. I like to take the shredded carnitas and put them under the broiler for just a little bit so they can be nice and crispy on the outside, tender and succulent on the outside!

Hoboken Meto Mom said...

Yum. Sounds good to me and easy because of the crock pot.