Do you remember the delicious pork carnitas from last month?

The tender, juicy dish that also created the blackened cookware of death?

Yes, I thought that photo might jog your memory.

Ever since posting that recipe, I’ve been trying to figure out a way to make carnitas without all the charring and requisite scrubbing from the original recipe.

My first attempt at a more cookware friendly version turned out really well thanks to the slow cooker and a foil lined pan.

Follow all of the steps in the original carnitas recipe, except put all of the ingredients in a crock pot or slow cooker. This time I also included the bone from my pork shoulder roast for extra flavor. Dump in the ingredients and cook on high for about 4 hours or on low for longer.

When the meat is fork tender to the point of almost falling apart. Turn off the slow cooker and let the meat cool slightly.

Remove the meat from the pot of juices and use your fingers to shred it onto a foil lined baking sheet.

Pour the pan juices into a gravy separator so that you can filter out a little of the accumulated fat. Pour some of the cooking juices over the meat – I used about half. Because this is cooked in the slow cooker, it has a lot more liquid than the carnitas cooked in the oven.

Preheat the broiler in the oven and broil the pork until it is slightly charred and somewhat crispy on the top. I started on the second oven rack from the top and then moved them down to the middle of the oven so that the meat could caramelize and brown without burning to a crisp.

Ta Da! Pile the carnitas into some tortillas (corn this time around) and hit them with your favorite toppings.

If I’m being completely honest, these were really good but not quite as amazing as the original. All of that charring and caramelizing that blackened my pan also gave the pork a lot of extra flavor. However, I’m pretty sure that most people are just not up for 24 hours of soaking and all that scrubbing.

I also have to confess, that we didn’t have any trouble gobbling up almost the entire pan in one sitting.

No cookware was harmed in the making of these carnitas!

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8 Responses

  1. All I needed to remember the Carnitas was the first photo. I am a big fan of foil (I hate scrubbing my raised-edge cookie sheets that I use for various other foods) but I totally understand the extra flavor the caramelizing provided. What a conundrum… soaking pans or extra flavor? I’m thinking I might just need to donate my old pot to the cause…

  2. I made them similar to your method. My recipe was from Cook’s Illustrated which had you braise them in a covered pot in the oven until tender, reduce the juices to a sauce, toss with the meat, and then broil. I really loved the flavor.
    Do you think the blackening would be easier to clean off of a cast iron pot rather than a coated dutch oven?

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