If you’ve not heard of carnitas before then think of it as the spicier, sultrier big sister of pulled pork. Sure, pulled pork is fun, with its tangy BBQ sauce and versatility but if you’ve got guests and want to impress then you can’t go wrong with this! Unless they don’t like Mexican food and then, well, you might want to rethink the friendship…
Anyway, the best part about this is that it can mostly be done in the slow cooker, leaving you plenty of time to
get drunk with entertain your guests!
1.25 – 1.5kg boneless leg or shoulder of pork
2 garlic cloves
1 red chilli, sliced into rings, seeds left in
1 orange, or 3 satsumas
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp hot paprika
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
Zest of 1 lime and 1 orange (or 3 satsumas)
Mix together all the dry ingredients, then add enough oil to make a paste. Cut off the skin and most of the fat layer from the pork joint and rub the paste all over it, covering all the meat. You can add chilli powder to the rub if you prefer it spicier but I’m a wuss so this is a mild version!
Next, juice your orange(s) and lime and add the juice to the slow cooker pot. Peel and quarter the onion and peel and chop your garlic cloves. Chop your chilli and add everything to the slow cooker. Place the meat on top, season with salt and pepper and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
If you have a bigger joint then scale up the ingredients accordingly and increase the cooking time. Keep an eye on the liquid level as you may need to add a little water.
When the pork is falling apart, shred it with two forks (remove any big chunks of fat) and mix it all up with the cooking juices. Turn the slow cooker off and leave for around half an hour for all the flavours to soak in.
Meanwhile, warm up the grill and prepare a baking tray with foil. Spread your shredded meat onto the tray, spoon over any leftover cooking juices and grill until it starts to caramelise (you might need to do this in batches).
Leave to rest whilst you prepare the rest of the meal.
We had this as a burrito bowl (microwave rice, chopped tomatoes, chopped avocado and grated cheese) but it would be excellent in a warmed tortilla with salsa, sour cream and guacamole, or with my Super Rice Salad. Feel free to add your own suggestions!