Friday, July 31, 2009
Carnitas in the slow cooker
Our new strategy is sending Joey to the store on Monday where he picks up the cheapest cut of meat and then we figure out some recipe for it. This week's special was Pork Shoulder Boneless Country Style Short Ribs. It was 4lbs for $4, so we had a lot of meat. The meat is fatty and is supposed to be cooked a long time in order to make it delicious. We decided on Carnitas.
I searched the web for appropriate recipes and found 3. Joey helped me choose one of them. When we went to the store to get the remaining ingredients at 11:20pm before we were to cook the meat, however, we ran into a snag. Lard, which we had seen on the shelves plenty of times before was missing! We left the store disappointed with no game plan. I searched the web again and figured that we'd just use chicken broth based on the other recipes.
After 6 hours of cooking, the result was a fall-apart pork that I shredded. But it was bland and slightly dry too. We added some lime juice, some chili powder, some cumin. We drained the fat from the liquid...and yet, it still wasn't right.
I took a small handful of meat and tried frying it in some garlic butter--not bad but it just tasted like butter. Next time, I will try a different recipe or if I stuck with this one, I'd add a little butter.
3-4 lbs country style pork ribs (boneless) or pork butt
2 cinnamon sticks
3 bay leaves
3 large strips of orange peel
1 T Mexican Oregano (we have a Mexican section in the store and this was only 59 cents!)
1 t ground coriander (we crushed whole coriander in a pepper grinder)
1 lb lard (manteca), we substituted 3 C chicken broth
salt & pepper
1. Trim fat. Sprinkle pork with oregano, coriander, salt and pepper. Place in a large bowl with cinnamon, bay leaves, and orange rind and cover. Refrigerate overnight.
2. (melt lard). Make chicken broth from bullion cubes. Layer pork in slow cooker and cover with lard (chicken broth). Add the cinnamon, orange, and bay leaves.
*at this point, if I were you I would also add a couple of cloves of garlic, some chili powder, a little cumin, some lime juice or lime rind.*
3. Cook on low for 6 hours. Shred pork with two forks and enjoy.
4. We had the pork with tacos--that made it more delicious with all the salsa and the onions and cilantro--but it still needed something