Monday, May 10, 2010

If You Like Carnitas, Try This

Last week was Cinco de Mayo, aka (in our house) Carnitas Appreciation Day. My husband really loves this dish, and so I found a recipe in which you can use the slow cooker to make tender and moist, nicely spiced Mexican-style pork. Get home from work, finish preparing, fold inside tortillas with lettuce, salsa, and whatever tickles your fancy.

Where to Buy the Best: I buy my pork (and much of my meat, also) at Whole Foods. They offer the strictest meat rules in the industry. For pigs, these rules include:

  • No antibiotics — ever
  • No animal byproducts in feed
  • No gestation crates
  • Sows provided freedom of movement in farrowing (birthing) pens
  • Bedding required to satisfy natural rooting instincts

(Gestation crates are used by most factory farms to prevent the pigs from moving while they're pregnant and cause sores and discomfort for the sows.) Like the best pig farmers in the business believe, Happy and healthy pigs make happy and healthy humans! Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Carnitas

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 (3-4 pound) boneless pork shoulder roast

2 bay leaves

1. Mix together salt, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, coriander, and cinnamon in a bowl. Coat pork with the spice mixture. Place the bay leaves in the bottom of a slow cooker and place the pork on top. Pour the chicken broth around the sides of the pork, being careful not to rinse off the spice mixture.

2. Cover and cook on Low until the pork shreds easily with a fork, about 10 hours. Turn the meat after it has cooked for 5 hours. When the pork is tender, remove from slow cooker, and shred with two forks. Use cooking liquid as needed to moisten the meat.

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