Friday, April 27, 2012

Crockpot Carnitas & HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO US!

This is an easy, flavorful recipe for crockpot carnitas. I doubled it, so for our little family it made tacos for 2 nights, then I used the other half to make TWO carnitas cornbread pies (click here for recipe), we ate one of those over two nights and froze the other- so that's SIX dinners and a fun new freezer meal recipe!!
Back to the carnitas.

I, like so many, many people- use as a wonderful reference for recipes. I found the Skinny Taste Crock Pot Carnitas recipe via Pinterest and was really excited to try it!
You can find that original recipe HERE. I made a few adaptations and along the way have come to discover that my inventive cooking methods are really a product of my inability to read and follow directions when it comes to cooking....or putting together furniture....or anything to do with electronic equipment... fortunately this usually yields favorable results (in the kitchen, can't say the same about the furniture or electronics- thank goodness for my handy hubby!)

I made this recipe on a Monday and had meals for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday dinner all set!
Friday (today) is our FIVE year wedding anniversary- so we're making a special dinner after the little guy goes to bed & looking very forward to it.

It's unbelievable that we've been married five years! It seems like five minutes and forever all at the same time- and it's been so amazing. That also means that this blog is almost five too!! WHAT?!? That's nuts.

More on that soon....
Here's the carnitas recipe!! The Cornbread Carnitas Pie dinner/freezer meal comin atcha ASAP!

You'll need:

About 4 lbs pork tenderloin, fat trimmed off (or two 1.5-2lb tenderloins- we had a BIG one!)
1 head of garlic (8-10 cloves)- coarsely chopped
dry adobo seasoning, I used the Goya brand (as did the original recipe)
garlic powder
1 can of 99% fat free chicken broth
3-4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
4 bay leaves

Lightly season the pork with salt and brown all sides in a saute pan over medium high heat. Takes about 10 min.
Remove from the pan and cool.
The original recipe says not to skip this step and these were really, really good so I wouldn't skip the browning next time either- totally worth it.

Poke holes in the pork w a sharp knife and insert chunks of garlic.
Season GENEROUSLY with cumin, adobo and garlic powder on all sides.
Pour broth into crock pot- add bay leaves and chipotle peppers. Put the tenderloin(s) in the crock pot and cover.

Cook on low for 7-8 hours. The original recipe calls for 8 hours on a 2.5 lb tenderloin and maybe my crock pot runs hot but that is WAY too long...ours was perfect at 7 1/2 hours- you just need to lightly pull at it with a fork and it should shred- then you know it's ready.
Remove pork into a large bowl and set crock pot to warm- shred pork and pour juices from the bottom of the crock pot over the shredded pork.
Return it to the crock pot on warm, cover for about 10-15 minutes then make yummy tacos & enjoy!

We made tacos for two nights, then saved the rest for two cornbread carnitas pies, I will get that recipe posted STAT!

Happy Anniversary to my amazing husband, best friend and greatest dad a boy could be blessed with!

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