Monday, February 10, 2014

Slow Cooked Guajillo Chile Carnitas

There is something quite satisfying about having a meal that took all day to cook. Whether you're home smelling the dang-good aromas wishing it was time already, or whether you're out all day then come home to a perfectly cooked roast; it's just perfect.

This recipe is an adaptation from a recipe I wrote about three years ago. The Crock Pot Carnitas (found on my other blog) has been a recipe we go to every few months, but this time I wanted to try something a little different.

I used Guajillo Chile Enchilada Sauce (made by Herdez) which is a flavorful, tangy, spicy sauce. The best part for me was that the sauce thickened up towards the end of cooking; and due to the cooking method, all of the flavor was concentrated into the meat.

I definitely recommend trying it this way if you haven't yet. Try the stove-top method if you happen to have a lazy afternoon and need something hearty and tastebud-mind-blowing by the time dinner rolls around. Good eats!

Slow Cooked Carnitas
Original Recipe.
Slow Cooker Prep Time: 10 min 
Stove Top Prep Time: 20 min (divided) 
Cook Time: 3 - 6 hours (depending on method of cooking) 
Serves: 4 - 6 (1 lb of pork roast serves about 4). 
Cook's Note: No matter what size roast you bring home, this recipe is easy to adjust. Just allow enough liquid to come up half way on the roast. If your roast is small, there is no need to use the full amount of liquid. And on the other hand if it is a large roast, allow enough broth to water 2:1 ratio to cover roast halfway.

1 lb pork roast, preferably organic and free-range
2 cups chicken broth, preferably organic/ homemade
1 cup water (more may be needed at the end of cooking)
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1, 4 oz can Guajillo Chile Red Sauce or Green Chile Sauce (whatever flavor you like better)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp ground coriander
1/2 tbsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup orange juice (or juice of any citrus)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

For Serving:
Lime Wedges
Fresh Cilantro
Corn Tortillas, warmed
Sour Cream
Shredded Cheddar Cheese

How To:
Two-Ways to Cook.
I've used the crock pot many times to make this meal, but sometimes the morning gets too rushed and I have to be out the door before I can pre-assemble the crock pot. Coming home mid-day however, I've used the dutch oven on the stove top to kind of speed things along. ..Translating speed to mean 3 hours, but compared to the time of the crock pot, it is helpful.

The crock pot, or slow cooker, is a great way to let your carnitas cook for you while you're at school or work. The only thing you need is time to prep it in the morning or night before. The dutch oven on the stove top is a great way to cook your carnitas, if you have to start your meal a little later in the day, and you have the time to stay home while it faithfully cooks for you on the stove top. With the occasional stir over the span of 3 hours.

If using the Crock Pot or Slow Cooker: 
Add all ingredients to crock pot, place lid on. Cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 4 1/2 hours. 

If you get home before the meat is completely tender and falling apart, you can cut the meat into smaller sections and place the lid back on. The meat will fall apart in about a half hour. Tongs are your best bet for serving.

If using the Dutch oven on Stove Top:
Begin by boiling chicken broth and water over high heat. Once liquid is boiling, add pork roast. Add the remainder of the ingredients over the roast. Turn down heat to low. Cover with a tight fitting lid. Turn meat occasionally throughout cooking.

At about 2 1/2 hours, slice roast into smaller sections. If liquid is getting low, gently pour in more filtered water until meat is 3/4 covered.

At three hours use a wooden spatula to break up the meat further. Again, add more filtered water if water is evaporating too much. Taste meat for seasoning. Use tongs to remove meat from pot.

Serve with warmed tortillas, limes, salsa verde, shredded cheese, and sour cream. I also like to serve carnitas with home made spanish rice. Enjoy.

More Meal Planning Inspiration:
In the mood for more Mexican-inspired meals?
Try my Crock Pot Beans and Gluten-Free Flour Tortillas.
Popular with my readers, try my Hearty Pork Roast Stew recipe.
Popular with my readers, I highly recommend my Crock Pot Carne Asada recipe.
Wanting something a little more gourmet? Try my Roasted Green Chile and Tomatillo Enchiladas.
For dessert, try my Mexican Chili Cupcakes.

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