I have a confession.
I really don’t like my slow cooker.
Maybe it is just my very cheap, one setting crockpot or maybe I just hate cleaning out the huge bowl. Yeah, that’s probably it. I dread cleaning out that bowl.Seriously though, the slow cooker is kind of a pain. At least for me anyway.
See, I have to take pictures in natural light. In order for me to properly cook food in a slowcooker I have two options for having it done during daylight hours.
One: Start the slowcooker before bed. This would seem like a good option, but somehow I ALWAYS forget to actually start the slowcooker. Seriously, I’ll make mental notes and I still can’t remember to take the thing out of the fridge (I normally prep it earlier) and flip the switch.
I know. It’s really not that hard.
Option two: Cook the food one day, shoot the food the next.
This option seems to work for me, but it takes more time and effort than I would like. I mean the idea of the crockpot it that it is supposed to be easy breezy. But I am impatient and I want to see my end product, not wait a day and half for it.
Also, everything I seem to cook in the crockpot know one likes (these carnitas are obviously not included), but that could just be because my family is super picky and really not fired up on anything other than steak, burritos and anything with buffalo sauce.
Seeing as everyone else out there seems to LOVE the slow cooker though, I gave it another try. Plus, Carnitas are the perfect crockpot meal. Ten hours of cooking time screams CROCKPOT!
I still think it’s kind of a pain, but these Carnitas were so good! Mexican food at its best! I slow cooked them in Mexican beer and spicy taco like seasonings. It. Is. Good.
I switched things up a bit and did a burrito bowl instead of the traditional taco. Really no one needs to see yet another carnitas taco recipe. And carnitas over rice, loaded with Pico de Gallo, cheddar cheese, guacamole and then stuffed into a spicy, crunchy tortilla bowl are just, well … one awesome fiesta!
Making the tortilla bowls are really simple. You just need a medium size oven safe bowl. All you do you is season the tortillas, drape them over the bowl and use your hand to mold them around the bowl and them bake for about ten minutes. Done.
Once the carnitas are cooked, just filled the bowls with some rice, pico de gallo, shredded lettuce, carnitas, cheddar and a whole lot of guac. The more guac the better, obviously. Then just break into that sucker and enjoy.
Oh and one last thing. Leftover carnitas are awesome to have around. Awesome! I have been serving up leftovers on pizza (oh yes, loaded with cheese and more avocado), sandwiches and just over rice. Depending on how many people you are feeding, you could have your lunch set for the week. Score!
- 5-6 pounds pork shoulder roast (or butt)
- 1 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 1/2 tablespoon cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 (12 ounce) mexican beer
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1 large or 2 small chipotle chiles in adobo, minced
- 3 cups cooked rice
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 lime, juiced
- Tortilla Bowls
- 4 (6-8 inch) whole wheat tortillas
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Pico De Gallo
- 2 cups tom tom or cherry tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped
- 1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and cut into small cubes
- 1 lime, juiced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- pinch of sugar
- pinch of salt
- For serving shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, shredded cheddar cheese, guacamole, fresh cilantro
Begin with the Carnitas. Combine seasonings (salt, pepper, smoked paprika, cumin, onion powder, chipotle chili powder, oregano, cayenne, chili powder, garlic powder) together in a bowl and mix until combined. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add oil. Rub the pork all over with a about 1/3 of the seasonings. Once hot, add pork and sear on all sides until golden brown (about 2 minutes per side).
Add pork to the crockpot and sprinkle with remaining seasonings all over. Pour in beer, orange juice, lime juice and chipotle chilies, then cook on low for 10-12 hours. Check once or twice if possible. Before serving, use forks or kitchen tongs to shred pork in the crock pot. Mix to combine with the remaining liquid in the crockpot. Keep warm until ready to use.
Make the tortilla bowls. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the smoked paprika, garlic powder and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Heat the tortillas in the microwave for 30 seconds. Rub each tortilla with a little olive oil or spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle each tortilla with a little bit of the seasonings. Gently press the tortilla (seasoned side down) around the outside of an oven safe bowl. Place the bowl on a baking sheet and place in the oven an bake for about 10 minutes or until browned and crisp. I only had 2 oven safe bowls, so I made two bowls and then made two more. If you are using only one bowl, repeat until your have four tortilla bowls. Set aside.
For the pico de gallo, in a small bowl, mix 1 teaspoon salt with the pinch of sugar. In a medium bowl, toss the tomatoes gently with the salt mixture. Add onion and jalapeno and combine. Place the avocado on top of the tomato mixture and squeeze with lime juice to coat the avocado. Sprinkle on the cilantro, and stir to combine. Set aside until ready to serve.
In a small bowl, mix 1 teaspoon salt with the pinch of sugar. In a medium bowl, toss the tomatoes gently with the salt mixture. Add onion and jalapeno and combine. Place the avocado on top of the tomato mixture and squeeze with lime juice to coat the avocado. Sprinkle on the cilantro, and stir to combine.
Toss the rice, the cilantro and lime juice. Keep warm.
To assemble divide the rice evenly among 4 individual tortilla bowls. Top with some of the pico de gallo and shredded lettuce and then add the warm carnitas. Sprinkle on the cheese, and spoon a dollop of the guacamole on top. Finish with the chopped cilantro.
Ok, now go break our your crock pot!
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