Carnitas (aka 16 hour slow cooked pork)

CarnitasWe use our slow cooker a lot – mostly for stews and curries.  However, once I saw nomnompaleo’s Slow Cooker Kalua Pig recipe,  I had to give it a go (particularly given our Hawaii trip last year!).

Now the Kalua pork was fantastic, but it occured to us that with a slight adjustment of spices,  this recipe would also make a fantastic carnitas for burritos and the like. So we put together a spice rub including coriander, cumin and – most importantly – chipotle chillie, and we have not looked back (although admittedly we’ve eaten a heap of slow cooked pork!).

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The Spice Rub

2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
2 tsp coriander leaves dried
Carnitas Spice Rub

What To Do

This amount of spice rub is good for 2-2.5 kg of pork. We typically buy a boned pork shoulder, take off any webbing or binding and then liberally rub the spice over all surfaces (although less usually ends up on the skin).  If you do this in the early evening, you can put it straights into the slowcooker pot and store in the fridge until later that night.  Just before bed,  I’ll get the pot out and set up with slow cooker with a timer to start at 2-3 am (depending on when you want to eat the next day). It is rather thrilling to be woken up by delicious pork smells in the morning,  though I do recommend cooking this dish on a day you will be mostly out of the house, as otherwise you will be distracted by pork for the rest of the day!   Once you reach 6-7 pm,  you take the pork out (usually in pieces by this time) and place it in a serving dish.  Separate off the skin and fat (which normally comes off very easily),  and then shred the meat using two forks.  You can spoon the juices at the bottom of the  slow cooker, to give an extra bust of flavour to the shredded meat, though be careful not ot make it too salty.  The meat is then good for tacos, burritos or just by itself….

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