Ooh. Carnitas have become a weekly staple in my household. I slow cook pork shoulder.
For about a 3lb cut, I will cut the shoulder into large chunks, and season in a bowl with salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, oregano, cayenne, and garlic powder. Then, I will sear it in a large pot with some sort of fat on the bottom (usually coconut or olive oil). Once seared, I throw the pork in the slow cooker. In the pot, I'll slice an onion and some cloves of garlic. As they start to soften, I add about 1/2-1 cup of chicken broth, the juice from 2 limes, and a little bit of juice from an orange. Once the onions are soft, I throw everything from the pot into the slow cooker. Cook on low from 6-8 hours. About 4-5 hours in, you should be able to shred up the pork in the slow cooker. Doing this allows the meat to get super tender and flavorful. At the very end, I put the pork with all of the juice into a large pyrex and put it in the oven at about 350 so that it gets a little crispy. Totally delicious, and my husband asks for seconds And thirds!
This is a bit labour intensive but I swear it is mass tasty. Have little bowls of diced avocado, onion, sliced radishes and/or radish salad, salsa verde, corn salsa (recipe below), lime slices, cilantro, to top.
Heat oven to 300 degrees. Add all the ingredients together, I use a dutch oven. On the stove top, heat the ingredients until they begin to simmer, stirring to combine the spices and meat. Cover the pot and place it in the oven. After about an 1 hour, stir it so as to turn the meat, and continue cooking for one hour more. Meat should be very tender and falling apart.
Remove from oven and remove the pork from the dish, transferring it to a bowl. Keep the liquid but discard the bay leaves, onion and orange rinds. On the stove top, place the dutch oven over high heat and bring to a boil. Boil until the liquid has thickened and is reduced to about 1 cup.
Turn oven to broil and lower racks to near the bottom of the oven. In the bowl, pull each piece of pork in half using two forks. Pour in the reduced liquid and add salt and pepper to taste. Place the pieces of pork on a wire rack on a baking sheet - I used baking cooling. Broil the meat for 5 to 8 minutes on each side until well browned.
Heat oil in and add onion and sautee until beginning to brown. Add corn and cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until the onion and corn have nicely browned and both are beginning to caramelize. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat. Mix in lime juice and cilantro leaves.
I'm also working on this. I can't link every carnitas recipe I've read (a LOT), though you could try searching for it on Chowhound, but I have noticed that many of them suggest chunking the shoulder but NOT trimming the fat, then adding enough liquid (stock, water, whatever) to cover the pork and braising it low and slow for several hours. The trick is that you cook the pork in the liquid long enough to render the fat, so the pork ends up cooking to crispness in its own fat.
I mean does it have to be indoors??? I slow smoke a 18lb turkey for thanksgiving and i'm in the midwest. It does take some determination to do.....and some brew doesnt hurt (wine or liquor if you like). But there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING like a slow smoked pork shoulder.
This one is really, really good with slight mods: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/04/magazine/recipe-carnitas-braised-in-witbier.html
The pork is cooked in the spices (mainly cumin, coriander seed and cinnamon), pepper and beer. Instead of 2 bottles of Witbier, I use a bottle of Greens gluten-free and a bottle of good cider. And no grapeseed oil, most of the time none is needed at all but coconut oil works great when it is. Made this 4 times so far and it's always good.
This recipe from Mark's Daily Apple is AMAZING. I've made it a bunch of times. It's fantastic as is, then we do the leftovers up New Mexico style with green chile and corn (I know, corn is not Paleo...)
This recipe, hands down: http://homesicktexan.blogspot.com/2008/07/carnitas-houston-style.html
No spices but it's oh-my-god good, unctuous and sweet. Make sure you get a shoulder with PLENTY of fat on it though or you'll have to add extra lard!
http://www.theclothesmakethegirl.com/2011/04/29/stovetop-pork-carnitas/ I really liked this one- it is very citrusy!
What should I do with pork skin? 3 Answers
muffins won't RISE!!!!! 5 Answers
Pig heart ideas? 6 Answers
Stew Vegetables which aren't "carby"? 11 Answers