Wednesday, June 10, 2009

crockpot carnitas

tasty pork tacos

i was reading up on paul's blog about all these tasty mexican foods he was eating and i got a little jealous. you just can't find good mexican food in this city. if you want pierogies, salads or sandwiches with french fries in them, or some good kielbasa, then you'll be happy...mediterranean, italian, indian,'s all here. but fresh pulled pork or real, homemade tortillas? none! and i was craving the real deal. i've been to mexico and have had it, and it's not going be on the drive-thru menu at taco bell (which closed down anyway so i can't even get my late night fix of that).

mmm. go meat. (i love hillshire farms commercials)

being that i am not from mexico and know of no authentic recipes or local resources, i searched online at various sites for one that didn't include beer, rootbeer or a variety of other substances i just couldn't get down with. this is an adaptation of many recipes combined and i am calling it my own.

crockpot carnitas
1 pork tenderloin (no idea how much ours weighed, oopsies...i do know it was a third of whole big one)
1 medium sliced onion
2 cloves garlic cut into quarters
3-4 c chicken broth (depending on size of meat)
2 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp lime juice
salt and pepper

1. rub pork with dry spices
2. make a bed of onions and garlic on the bottom of the crockpot and put pork on top
3. pour in chicken broth and lime juice
4. add pepper and a generous amount of salt
5. cook on low for 8 hours (if it looks dry, add a bit more liquid)
6. when tender, use two forks to pull apart
(i ended up adding a little more salt after i pulled it because i like it juicy and salty)

must-have accompaniments

we used small corn tortillas (store bought, but so much better than wheat), lime wedges, avocado, and cilantro for one dinner...then switched it up with cheese, tomatoes, and avocado another day. this makes a good amount of meat and we were able to eat many plates of tacos before we polished it off a few days later.

extreme closeup

omg. i could eat this everyday for the rest of my life. so easy (husband prepped this in the morning while i was at work and i finished it when i came home), smells amazing, and tastes even better. it's very versatile and good for crowds (bulk meat is cheaper!). it was even better day two when the meat had a chance to sit overnight in its juices. i wish i had better pictures (they were all so blurry, sorry!), but just thinking about it makes me...mmm...i want to go to there.


Thomas said...

I don't go meat, but it does look good! I need to learn some Thai food recipes. When you come to visit me in the Cuse-la (it's only 11 hours on the bus or 6 hours by car!), we can make some in my wok. Do you use a wok in Thai food? I know you don't use chopsticks.

Caitlin said...

Mmmmm.. this looks so good!

I'm guessing you're in the Pittsburgh area? I'm heading back for a visit next month, and now I might have to hit Primanti's!!

David said...

I feel your pain – it's a terrible thing to be without a go-to taco place -- I'm lucky enough to have two on my block...and a Mexican chef in the family!

Just wanted to suggest that next time you're in the mood for tacos, you might want to try tacos al pastor, Mexico city's most popular taco. Don't be put off by the pineapples in the recipe – their acidity and sweetness are a perfect complement to pulled pork.

Also, homemade salsas, like salsa verde and pico de gallo, are incredibly easy to make. As long as you have access to tomatillos, all you need to do is blanch three or four and throw them in a blender with a small white onion, a clove of garlic, a jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. For a creamier version, add some avocado.

Claire said...

This looks easy & delicious...I'll shop for the ingredients this weekend =)

Paul G. said...

Thanks for the shoutout, and congrats on your recent tastespotting successes!

Jackie said...

Haha, nice 30 Rock reference, because I AM GOING TO THERE. I just started making a variation on these this morning, so now I am trying to wait very patiently. It's my first go at using a crockpot, and hopefully it's also my first big success!