Foodie Monday: Pork Carnitas

Last week, we had some really good meals. We ate grilled salmon with mustard and brown sugar glaze, beef tacos (not had in a great while), and a few other yummy dishes such as strip steaks. But, the topper was the pork carnitas. I had a weird hankering for these that I think was brought on by watching too many old episodes of Top Chef! Now that these shows can be streamed, I find myself watching each season and being inspired to try some new dishes. We never watched this show, as we only had basic cable before getting Roku, so each episode is new for us.

While I’ve made pulled port before and carnitas at least once, I’ve never had a recipe as simple and delicious as the one I found this week. This is a slow cooker recipe for Mexican Slow Cooked Pulled Pork and has a five-star rating on the Cafe Delites website. You can find the recipe, here.

Pork carnitas crispy from the broiler! © Carol Labuzzetta, 2022.

The recipe takes some time in the slow cooker, so make sure you have gathered the ingredients the day before or be prepared to make an early morning run to the grocery store. And, be sure to remind yourself of the time you need to start the slow cooker so you have tender, moist, pork that can be pulled apart by dinner. As it was, I started our crockpot at 1pm so, it was 6: 30 by the time we ate. I used the high setting which called for 5-6 hours of slow cooking the pork.

The house smelled so delicious when I made this dish! The garlic and cumin filled the air with their powerful scents and made my mouth start to water.

We served the pork with white rice and a tossed salad. My husband had his on naan bread in lieu of the rice. And, the best part was that we have a pot of leftovers to make a speedy hot lunch or dinner this week. In fact, we just had them for lunch.

Nutritionally, the carnitas only has 7g of carbs. But, remember, that is for the portion of meat only. The rice added a significant amount, as did the naan. But, if you aren’t eating low carb, there’s no need to worry about the accompaniments.

There’s not much I would change about this recipe except for the amount of salt. It is salt heavy at 3-4 teaspoons. I used 3 teaspoons and would definitely cut it back by half again – very salty. The saltiness lead me to do a very poor impression of Gail Simmons (one of the judges on Top Chef) when she thinks something was over-salted. It made my husband laugh, at least. But, I also used a 2.5-pound pork loin instead of a 4-pound pork butt for the meat. Hey – it’s what I could find.

This recipe is a keeper. It seems so versatile and yummy. I added it to our growing list of go-to meals!

Ciao! Mangia bene!

Pork Carnitas. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2022.

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