Pork Carnitas

 I've found that there are many different ways to make carnitas. I've made them 2 ways.  The easy version and the not so easy but tastier version. The easy version is to just throw your pork into the slow cooker, rub some spices on it and let it cook slowly until it is shreddable.  Voila.  Pulled pork or carnitas.

I like to make my own spice mix.  I like to know what's in there.  I often don't measure, I just throw it together and it usually comes out fine.  Don't be shy, use plenty of spice. 

Sear the meat.  The delicious smell will start to drive you crazy at this point. You're still a long way to go so be patient.

After 3 hours in the oven it's ready to shred. Then it's time to spread some of that savory sauce over the meat and return to the oven to caramelize and get a bit crispy.

Pile on top of corn tortillas or whole wheat tortillas with your favorite toppings and dig in!

I even put some on a tostada with and egg and spinach for breakfast.  Topped with hot sauce and it's a perfect breakfast!

Pork Carnitas Recipe

7 - 8 lbs. boneless pork, I used boneless pork ribs but you can use pork shoulder or pork butt as well.

Spice Rub: (this worked good for the amount of pork that I used)

1 tbsp. paprika
1 tbsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. cayenne
1 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. pepper
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. oregano

Braising liquid:

1 1/2 cups orange juice
water to cover


Cut pork into 2 inch chunks, trimming off large amounds of fat but leave some on for flavor.  Toss pork with the spice rub. 

Heat a pan (or two) on the stove with enough vegetable oil (or bacon grease) to cover the bottom.  Brown the cubed pork on both sides.  Do this in batches so the pieces don't overlap.  We're just looking to sear the pork at this point. 

Transfer the meat as it gets done to a oven proof bowl or pan.  Deglaze the pan's bottom with orange juice, stirring to break up the borwn bits.  Throw the orange juice mix into the bowl with the meat.  Fill with water until it is nearly submerged. 

Cover and throw it in the oven at 300 degrees.  Stir the pot after one hour. Stir the pot after 2 hours.  After 3 hours it should be almost falling apart.  Carefully put the liquid back on the stove in the pan and boil the liquid, allowing it to boil down.

Shred the pork and place it on two baking trays so that it is spread out.  Turn your broiler on high and place a rack towards the top.  Pour a bit of the braising liquid over the pork and gently toss.  Broil for about 5 minutes, stir and broil for about 5 minutes more until the outside begins to caramelize. 

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