Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas Tacos

Anyone up for a busy night dinner that is easy and dare I say, a tiny bit exotic, too?

Ahh...slow cooker season is upon us.  You know, the time of the year when the air slowly gets cooler and school is in session?  The time of the year when you need something brewing in the slow cooker because there's nothing quite like coming home to the smell of dinner cooking, especially on a really busy evening?

This is the time of the year when slow cooker recipes begin to appear weekly on our menu plan.  And here's an update of one of family's favorite slow cooker recipes, pork tacos, aka, carnitas.

A quick sear in the morning before you head off to work, school or the day's activities will intensify the flavors.  If you aren't up for it, no worries, just pop the whole pork in the slow cooker sans browning.

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas Tacos

4-6 pound bone-in pork butt/shoulder
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (if browning)
8 garlic cloves
2 onions
2 jalapenos
1 - 12 oz beer -OR- 1 1/2 cups broth (but trust me, the beer really adds to the flavor)
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons oregano
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground dried chipotle pepper or smoked paprika (optional)
corn tortillas
toppings:  pico de gallo, red onion, cilantro, cabbage, avocado, etc.

Score the pork in a grid pattern, about 1/2 " deep.

Heat a large fry pan on high and once hot, pour oil in the pan and place pork in the pan to brown. Cook 4-5 minutes, flip and repeat. 

While the pork is cooking, slice the onions and jalapenos and put them in the bottom of your slow cooker.

Once the pork is seared on both sides, place the pork scored side up in the slow cooker on top of the onions and jalapenos. Gently insert the garlic cloves into the scored pork.

Sprinkle the top of the pork with the cumin, oregano, chili powder, salt, pepper and chipotle pepper or paprika, if using.

Pour the beer over the pork.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours, high 4-5 hours.

Once done, pull the pork out of the slow cooker and let cool for about 10 minutes. Shred the pork and serve in corn tortillas with your favorite toppings. We use pico de gallo, red onion, fresh cilantro, sliced cabbage and fresh lime slices to sprinkle on top. But you can use whatever floats your boat! 


Makes enough for dinner and lots of leftovers, about enough to serve 12.

Life is sweet,

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