Grandpa Gotta Cook—CARNITAS: Crockpot Style

in cooking •  5 months ago  (edited)

Not A Big Pork Fan

I like ham quite a bit, but after that, it can be hit and miss, especially with bacon (I know—heresy. Stick with me here).

But, in order to make carnitas, a favorite Mexican dish, you need to use some pork to do it. The recipe called for pork shoulder, butt or loin. I suppose there could be substitutes, but in my case, I was going to do it the old fashioned way.

Sort of.

On this week's edition of Grandpa Gotta Cook, Carnitas: Crockpot Style.

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The image above shows the meat I had to work with. I have no idea what part of the pig it was, since the packaging simply referred to it as a pork picnic pack. Thanks WinCo.

However, I needed something in between 3-4 pounds worth, and these two large chunks were supposed to be roughly 3.5 pounds, so I figured I was good. I don't know if you can tell, but they didn't quite sit down in the bottom of the crockpot at first, so they're angled a little on the ends.

Once the meat was in, everything else was added—salt, chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic, onion, lime and orange juice.

Now, I don't know about you, but when I read that there was going to be lime and orange juice, I got kind of excited. It's not everyday I get to cook with orange juice, especially where meat was involved, and so I actually started to look forward to what might happen.

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Well, as you can see, this is what started to happen. A few hours in, the meat shrunk down as it got cooking, and all of the rest of the ingredients started sliding around and eventually falling and accumulating at the bottom of the crockpot.

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Then, we have about six hours in, with the juices from the pork mystery meat mixing with the orange juice and other ingredients there as it bubbled. At this point it had another couple hours to go.

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Once it reached the eight hour mark, it was time to shred the meat. That went pretty quickly, though I suppose it could have waited another half an hour or so to be even more tender.

However, the smell of this cooking all day was just simply amazing, and by this point, it was like, we've got to eat this now!

Taste Test

The meat was tender, and tasty. However, not much of the spices and other ingredients came through as far as I could tell. It was very tasty pork, but the smell of it cooking was much more enjoyable in my mind than the taste.

Now, the way carnitas are generally eaten is in taco form, with corn tortillas, cilantro, maybe more onion and then salsa. So, that's what we did. Trust me, even if there is no photographic proof.

I would make this recipe again, but next time, I'd probably throw it on the grill towards the end to crisp things up a little. It was great as pulled pork, but carnitas goes beyond that really. The slow cooking, though, really helped, and as I said, the aroma wafting from the crockpot throughout the day was marvelous. I kept saying we needed to come up with a perfume of this stuff, call it Eau de Pork or something.

I'll keep working on the title.

That's it for this week's meal. Next week, I'm not sure what's going to happen. It's one of the them play it by ear deals.

So, until then...

Enjoy!

All photos courtesy of Glen Anthony Albrethsen

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Dang it!! Don’t be hitting me with this right now!! I had... keyword... had, an idea for dinner tomorrow. Now you got me all messed up!! I’m thinking crockpot meal now!! Lol

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Hey, @jlsplatts.

I don't know. I really like the crockpot now. Hadn't ever really used it myself up until a couple weeks ago. I think there's a lot less work involved because you don't have to manage the cooking times of multiple foods, less prep usually, and definitely fewer dishes/cleanup to do later.

So, hey, the more the merrier with the crockpot. :)

@glenalbrethsen
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That looked good. I like crock pot cooking, but it was to hot today so the wife and I went out for Mexican food at a local restaurant. I am not sure what was going on today, but the place was packed,yeah it's Friday and all but we did go out early and have been there on Friday's before, and never this busy, word of mouth or something, not sure, the heat, (it was to hot for indoor cooking that was why we went out), A lot of smoke from the fire also, so people not wanting to cook out door I guess, or maybe everyone just got hungry at the same time as me.

There was one small let down in the meal, they do these awesome french fries, but to day they were out of them, and just had the ordinary french fries. but that was okay.

Hey, @bashadow.

That sounds like a lot going on—hot, fire, smoke, everyone hungry simultaneously.

I'm wondering what kind of Mexican restaurant this is serving french fries, though. :) Must have an American portion of the menu?

What about the rest of the food? What did you get?

re: that looked good

It was very good. Too bad we don't have smell-o-STEEM. The smell was the best part. :)

A Mexican-American sort of of place. Really about the only American food is the hamburger and fries, Hand made patties. I think they had a grilled cheese sandwich in the kids meal section. Lots of different style meat salads in a tortilla bowl, giant burritos stuffed with beans cheese, meat. Several flavors of tacos, and tostadas and the best the enchiladas. they are real good. We like it cause the food is pretty good, always filling and we spend less than fifty dollars for the two of us to eat out.

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Congratulations on the reward here @glenalbrethsen, I love it when people get what they deserve. 👍🏿

I’ll be in the kitchen in a little while, I hope you’ll be joining us again.

Hey @dandays.

It's kind of bizarre how rewards around here work. I've had some posts that I was particularly happy with, nada. This one was not what I would consider one of my best efforts, due to lack of time and photos, but then it gets curated by OCD I guess. I've come to look at it more of an accumulative effect—across all my work—rather than any one thing. While I'm certainly grateful for all of it, it can seem so random and unexpected. :)

I do have a post for Food Fight Friday. I was not in the kitchen on Saturday (it was my birthday celebration so I didn't cook), and yesterday I didn't cook up anything spectacular for Independence Day.

In the past week I've eaten, of course, so I will be sharing one of those experiences, instead. :)

I know exactly what you’re saying about the curations. Sometimes I have to remind myself not to be so irritated because I’ll post an article with hours upon hours of effort that I believe deserves recognition and nothing! I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t frustrate me at times and throw an only child attitude. But then, like you said, I’m pleasantly surprised at times when an unexpected article gets picked up... who knows?? Not me—that’s for sure.

Remember the politics question awhile back? True story: So far, on two separate occasions by two different people, I was asked “where are you from?” I tell them... then they respond “do you mind if I ask you a question?” I say “ask me anything you’d like!” ...”What do you think of Trump?” Haha!! He’s not just the punchline of jokes in the states, sir. If anything, even more so in England.

Have a great weekend, Glen. I just saw you released a foodfight, I’ll make my way over there.

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Hey, @dandays.

I'm not sure what they thought of him before he made some Brexit remarks, but now he's supposedly took over their politics. Kind of like he forces everything upon us or something like that.

re: curation

Yeah. I kind of wish there was more curation happening on a regular basis for the established folks, but I guess they take pity when they see we're still not making a dollar. Or something like that. I know they have rules, and they should, so I can't get too bitter about it. There's more than just us out there.

I did learn early on, though, way before I got here, that there's a balance that needs to be struck between hours put into a post or any kind of writing and the reward. If it isn't seen by enough people, it's not going to do well, regardless. If it's not something people like, same deal. So, the same rules apply here as anywhere else, even if we like to think we've got more of a corner on things.

The fact of the matter is, visibility is still low, and unless you're willing to do certain things to up that visibility, it just takes longer and longer to get it.

The wise words of Mr. Brethsen. Very well said, sir. There’s been many 0’ times I’ve questioned myself, ‘maybe I shouldn’t mention things like this... or that... maybe it’s because I didn’t mention...’ etc etc and before I get too involved with what I could’ve or should’ve switched I remind myself to just keep being me. At the end of the day, if I don’t alter my style for the audience and remind myself to be thankful for as much love as I get just for being myself—I tend to be thankful for having this platform even with the small amount of foot traffic because my (our) audience is authentic. Like this current conversation for example.

It’s nice to have an avenue to release our thoughts. That’s the important part, it’s just the part I tend to forget because I allow myself to get overwhelmed with why’s and why not’s. I’m glad you share a similar opinion—‘it’s not just me!’

It’s always a pleasure reading your responses—this one in particular. Happy Sunday.

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Grandpa would be a great cook

Hey, @ajorundon.

Well, thank you. This was probably the easiest recipe of all, and so the prep took all of 15 minutes and the crockpot did the rest until it came time to shred it. If I could find a crockpot that shreds, that would be awesome. :)

You must be great cook

Nope, @adenijadeshina. Not in the slightest. But if all I have to do is put something into a crockpot and it does the rest, I come out looking like a master chef. :) Anyone can do this.

Looks delicious - as always. You can consider becoming a chef if Steem, and your job fails you. :-)

Yeah, right. :)

At least if I could afford food and electricity I could eat. We'll just hope neither fail and that way I'm not necessarily the one who has to cook, either. :)