I know I’ve said it before. Nothing makes me happier than a slow cooking meal. A huge hunk of tough meat is made tender and delicious by hours of low heat and spices. Carnitas is a favorite in our house. We love to make tacos from it, but considering that the tortillas are a nono we will stick to only the meat today. One great benefit of this meal is that the meat is generally pretty cheap per pound and it yields a ton of leftovers. I like to make this on a Sunday so I have lunches for most of the week. It is not a hard meal to cook; throw everything in the pot and walk away.
few slices of bacon chopped
2 bay leaves
1/2- whole can of chipotle peppers (depending on your heat preferences)
1 stick of cinnamon
1 tbsp cumin
2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste
2 cans of chicken stock or water (about 28oz)
Cook the bacon rendering the fat. If you do this in a deep pot you will only have one dish to clean. Pull out the bacon pieces, leave the grease, and turn up the heat in the pan. Brown the shoulder on all sides. Add all ingredients including bacon bits and cover. Cook low and slow.
If you have small children you may want to consider putting this in the oven (oven safe dish of course) for the cooking time. Keep the pot on low heat (200 in oven) and leave it alone. Go to church, walk the dogs, mow the grass, whatever it is you do on a lovely Sunday like this one. Cook for about 6-8 hours. Check the meat. If it is fork tender it is done. That means you can put a fork in it and pull the meat apart easily. Shred it with forks and put back into the juice until ready to serve. Traditional carnitas is fried in the fat that renders making it a bit crispy. Tonight I just wanted to eat it straight from the oven as is.
You can serve this with some fresh cilantro, lime, avocados, radishes, and pico de gallo for true authenticity. Pico is just: tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, diced, squeeze of lime, a sprinkling of salt and pepper.