I am a true aficionado of carnitas, and slow cooker preparation makes for the simple creation of this gluttonously wonderful dish. I equally enjoy this fall-apart, tender meat on soft tacos with corn tortillas and my condiments of choice as I do with crispy sopes, when I have the time to make them. How spicy and crispy you finish off the shredded meat is personal preference, as is whether you drizzle with maple syrup or sweetened condensed milk for a sweet touch (my preference!).
Homemade Pork Belly Carnitas
3-4 lbs. pork belly, cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes
2 c. spiced apple cider or 2 c. pineapple juice
2 T. garlic powder
2 T. ground cumin
3 bay leaves
2 T. Mexican oregano
1 T. salt
Zest from one orange
Juice from one orange
Minced chilies -- jalapeno, serrano, habanero (personal preference)
1/3 c. Grade A maple syrup (or sweetened condensed milk) -- optional
Place cubed meat in slower cooker and add cider and spices. Cook on low setting 8-10 hours. Remove meat, cool and shred cubes. Pour off liquid and let stand to remove and reserve fat layer. (Shredded meat -- with fat strained juice poured over -- can be refrigerated for several days.)
When ready to serve, heat pork fat in large skillet and fry in two to three batches the shredded meat until just heated through. Drain, and place meat on foil-lined jelly roll pan; sprinkle zest and juice from one orange over top; add minced chilies and drizzle with maple syrup. Broil (watch carefully!) until hot and crispy.
Serve with corn tortillas, avocado, crema, cotija cheese, cabbage slaw and salsa, as desired.
Top: Burger & Friends Bone Jour Tank
Skirt: Hell Bunny Mariam Skirt in Black and White Polka Dot Full Circle
Lips: Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in American Doll
Brows: Anastasia Beverly Hills DIPBROW® Pomade in Soft Brown