Normally Mondays wouldn’t allow me to enjoy myself so much. But I woke up this morning at 9am and there was a fresh white blanket of snow on the ground and the smell of the rosemary tree by my bed as soon I opened my eyes. I put my Leon Bridges vinyl on the record player, took a look in the fridge and staring back at me was a beautiful pork shoulder. There are few things I love more than a simple crockpot meal. Not only do they take a minimal amount of effort but they also make the entire house smell like magic. It also doesn’t hurt that a pork shoulder is a large enough piece of meat that I can make meals out of it for the rest of the week. So in the spirit of cold winter days spent home alone, I got cookin’.
To get started, I wanted to make sure I had everything I needed. I didn’t have any lime juice but I did have an abundance of limes (because I have a problem passing by brightly colored fruits at the grocery store), and with that it was time to start prepping the meat.
I went ahead and plugged in the crockpot and turned it on high. I poured enough cooking oil in the bottom of the pot so that it was just covered enough. Now it was time to make the marinade.
First I peeled the onion and the garlic cloves. I cut the onion in half (save half for the crockpot) and place both half the onion and the four cloves of garlic in the blender. I then added the oregano, chili powder, salt, pepper, and the juice of the four small limes and blended it into the marinade paste.
I then took the meat out of the package and prepped it with kosher salt. Using a cooking brush, I smeared the marinade all over the meat and used my hands to work it into the pork.
I then refrigerated it for an hour. Depending on your schedule, you can marinate it for as little as 30 minutes or for as long as a day. I was itching to get this baby in the crockpot and therefore couldn’t wait any longer.
While the meat was allowing the marinade to set, I cut the other half of the onion into thin slices and added it to the hot oil in the crockpot and allowed them to start cooking. Once I could not longer wait, I removed the meat from the fridge and placed it in the crockpot on HIGH for 8 hours.
Once the time has elapsed, you have plenty of beautiful tender carnitas to incorporate into a number of meals throughout the week. I added mine to a bright bed of fresh spinach, mango, and cashews with a honey lime vinaigrette. What are you going to pair with yours?
Stay warm, my friends. And enjoy!
Snow Day Carnitas
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 6-8 hours
Add half the onion, the garlic, oregano, chili powder, lime juice, salt, and pepper to a blender or food processor. When fully combined, you will be left with a hearty paste.
Remove the pork shoulder from its wrapping and sprinkle a thin layer of salt all over the outside of the piece of meat. Rub the marinade you have prepared all over the pork. You can use your hands or a marinade brush. Cover and let marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes – 24 hours.
When ready to cook, add the remaining enough oil to crockpot so that the bottom is covered in a thin layer. Add the pork shoulder and the other half the onion ( sliced thin) to the pot.
Place the lid on top of the crockpot and leave for six to eight hours. Feel free to stir occasionally.
Once the time has passed, the pork should be ready for you to enjoy. Shred the pork in the pot and mix in with the juices as you do so. Depending on how long you have let the pork cook, very little shredding may be necessary. You may need to add some additional salt and pepper so that the pork is to your liking. Squeeze a little lime juice over the top and add fresh cilantro before serving.