I have to tell you, I was not prepared for what wound up coming out of my slow-cooker on Monday night. I had my hopes, but I honestly didn't know what to expect.
I'd read about the "unctuousness" of well-made carnitas - and that's not even what I was trying to do.
Anyhow, it was really, really simple. I took two pork picnic roasts (shoulders, with the skin still on), about 3.5lbs each. I separated the skin from the meat, but left it on, rubbed the skin with salt and pepper, then seared them in a skillet.
I let them cool a bit, then rubbed cumin, garlic powder (I was somehow out of fresh garlic) and Penzey's Adobo seasoning on the outside and under the skin.
I then put them in my slow-cooker, with a couple of roughly chopped onions, and a cup of chicken broth in the bottom.
The next morning, I set them up, put them on the low, 10-hour setting, and let it go.
When I got home, I pulled them out, carefully, put them in the oven under the broiler to crisp up the skin, and separated the fat from the juices, ultimately reducing the juice for a pan-sauce.
I wish I'd held onto the fat, as it would have been amazing for making other things (like my roasted cauliflower last night).
But what I'd put in the slow cooker was transformed into this luscious, unctuous, amazing dish.
It's a keeper.
- Andrew Langer