Carnitas, literally “little meats,” is a dish of Mexican cuisine. Carnitas are made by braising or simmering pork meat in liquid until tender. The process takes several hours (of which you can be in the pool if you want, all hail the crock pot!) and the result is very tender and juicy pork meat, which is then typically served with cilantro, diced onion, salsa (and corn salsa in my case), guacamole, tortillas, and beans. And that, my friends, is exactly what we did. If you haven’t had carnitas, you are missing out. But you don’t have to go to a restaurant to get it, the recipe is actually quite simple and your friends and family will love you forever. I mean they already should love you unconditionally, but incase you’re on the outs with some of them, this will definitely help.😉
Beauty & The Butcher Carnitas
2 1/2 lbs. boneless pork shoulder (or a Boston Butt as the butcher calls it)
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 sprigs fresh thyme, tied together (you can use twine but I love using reusable silicone rubberbands you can find them at any kitchen supply)
2 bay leaves
12 oz. bottle Mexican beer
1/4 C. orange juice
2 – 3 T. chipotle peppers in adobo (these are in a can in your Latin foods aisle, remove them from can and purée in blender, freeze what you don’t use and be careful, these things will knock your socks off!)
generous amounts of kosher salt & fresh black pepper
Put everything into your crock pot. Cover and set it to cook for 6 hours. After the first few hours you can stir everything around a bit if you’d like, but it’s not totally necessary.
After six hours (or when the pork reaches 190 degrees with a meat thermometer) remove the tenderloin pieces onto a cutting board. They will be so tender, they’ll be falling apart you can shred them with a fork. Remove and throw away the thyme bundle and bay leaves. Shred the pork and return to the slow cooker with its sauce. Keep it on the warm setting until ready to use. You can also easily double this recipe in fact, I recently double quadrupled it to feed 60 people and it was still easy and delicious!