Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Crock Pot Pork Carnitas with a Copy Cat Chipotle Corn Salsa

First off, who gets colds in May? Seriously, like the connotation of the word "cold" would lead one to believe that they can actually happen any time and have absolutely nothing to do with the weather actually being cold, or the victim of said virus being cold, or having wet hair while going outside when it's cold, or really anything at all dealing with any definition of the word cold. Except when you can't breathe and you wish it were blustery and cold and windy so your sinuses would actually open up so when you speak your consonants don't all end with "d."

So yeah, I had a cold the past few weeks. A pretty wicked one too, considering it lasted longer than the typical 5-7 days. Which is such an absolute bummer too, because the plate of food pictured smelled like the inside of a Mexican food restaurant. Savory, garlicky, spicy and cilantro-y- just absolutely, utterly amazingness of smells. At least it was on my trial run of this recipe I did back in early April.

Apparently with colds even being able to describe incredibly tasting food (as opposed to smelling it and tasting it) goes out the window. Oh, the things that happen when you're going to sleep at 7:30 pm for 2 weeks straight.

Now that I am able to smell, taste and describe food again, I'm having a re-do of Cinco de Mayo and eating these all day long. They're absolutely incredible, and I don't really even like many pork dishes other than bacon. Because bacon makes everything better, and now these pork carnitas help in those efforts.

Oh yeah, and the corn salsa? Who knew I could recreate a Chipotle recipe right in my very own kitchen!! It's seriously about as close as you can get without stealing the actual bucket of corn salsa from your local Chipotle (which in our case, the closest Chipotle is about.... 8,700 miles away in California).
One Year Ago: Ice Cream Monkey Bread (ohhhh buddy was this one good!)

Crock Pot Pork Carnitas

A Butter Than Toast Original

2 pounds pork "Boston" butt, large pieces of fat trimmed
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
2-3 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 large red onion, sliced
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeded and minced (use only 1 if you don't like a lot of heat, leave the seeds if you like very spicy foods)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 shots tequila
1/3 cup orange juice
3/4 cup low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4-5 cloves garlic, grated
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water

Trim fat from pork and pat dry. Combine the cumin and chili powder, and sprinkle evenly over all sides of the meat, patting down slightly so it will stick. Meanwhile heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, add the canola oil to the pan and add the pork once oil is heated through. 

Sear the pork about 2 minutes on each side, ensuring a brown crust is formed, but the meat is not cooked all the way through. Place the meat and onions in the crock pot, set to high. Whisk the rest of the ingredients together (except for the cornstarch and water) and reserve about 1/3 cup of the sauce. Pour over the rest over pork and onions. Cover with lid and cook on high for 4-5 hours. 

At the end of cooking, drain the meat from the crock pot. Using 2 forks, shred meat gently, discarding any obvious pieces of fat. Heat the skillet again over medium heat and add the meat, spreading evenly in 1 layer. Sear for a few minutes to allow another light crust to form on the shredded pork. Remove to a plate and set aside. 

In a small saucepan, bring the reserved sauce to a boil. Mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and add to the saucepan. Remove from heat and stir until slightly thickened. 

Serve meat any way as desired- nachos, tacos, burrito or straight from the plate. Drizzle with the sauce if desired- it will be a bit spicy from the chipotle peppers. 

Copy Cat Chipotle Corn Salsa

Ingredients from Chipotle.com, ratios estimated by Butter Than Toast

2 cups frozen corn kernels, defrosted
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced
1 jalapeƱo pepper, seeded and minced (leave some seeds for heat)
1/4 red onion, finely diced
1 lime, juiced (about 1 tablespoon)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
dash of cumin

Mix ingredients together, devour. Attempt to save some for dinner...

1 comment:

  1. So gonna try this with subbing oil for olive or coconut and arrowroot for the cornstarch to make it paleo. For the salsa I will swap avocado in place of the corn. We will be in touch. ;)


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