Slow-Cooker Carnitas


by Wyzyrd , Editor-At-Large

This isn’t really a soup, but a successful experiment that would work well in a “Bev-style” thermal cooker, as well as an electric crock pot. Amazing flavor, not much work. I saw a menu item called “Beer-Braised Carnitas” on a website, and wanted to try it without slow-cooking in melted lard. :)

I found a 3 lb bone-in chunk of pork butt (shoulder) on “reduced for quick sale”.  Sprinkle  with a little salt and pepper. Leave the fat cap on.  Brown heck out of it on all sides in oil. This step can probably be skipped, but it makes it taste better.

While the meat is browning, stem and seed a couple dried Ancho and Pasilla chiles. These are not at all “hot” – kinda fruity flavor. Toss them in your slow cooker along with handful of dehydrated onion flakes, ground cumin, some minced fresh garlic,  some dried oregano leaves, and about 2 bottles of beer. I’d go for a dark-ish lager. Yuengling Light was what was sitting around. Worked admirably.

Put your pork butt into the slow cooker and add water or chicken stock to cover the meat about 2/3 of the way. (I had some that needed to be used in the fridge)  Either bring it to a boil and put it in the thermal cooker, or turn your slow cooker to High for about 4 hours, then go to Low and ignore all day.

Shred up the meat – it will fall apart but still be moist and tasty. Great tacos/burritos/etc. Wonderful in omelettes or other dishes. Blend up the beer and veggies as a sauce or soup/stew base.  There’s nothing stopping you from adding onions, carrots and potatoes if the cooker is big enough, for an incredible stew.

The only downside? I have to go out and get more tortillas.

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