Crockpot Pork Carnitas

After getting my car fixed on the Columbus Day holiday I decided I wanted to try a new crockpot recipe while I worked outside.  I went through my food pins on Pinterest and found one that sounded like it was worth a shot!

Crockpot Pork Carnitascarnitas-01

Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs pork shoulder roast
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup lime juice (or 2 limes)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, quartered

In a small bowl combine the chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Rub thoroughly on the outside of the pork shoulder.

Combine the orange juice, lime juice, garlic and onion in the crockpot. Place pork on top and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4-5 hours.

Shred the pork and cook for an additional 30 minutes.  Remove the pork from the crockpot and place on a baking sheet. Broil in the oven for 3-4 minutes to brown the edges of the pork.carnitas-02

Results: This makes a lot of tasty meat!  We made tacos the first night with avocado, cilantro, cheese, taco sauce, lime juice and sour cream, and the meat was flavorful without being overbearing.  I was worried about there being too much liquid in the tacos, but i strained it first which did the trick.

The next night Hunter ate more tacos, while I made a plate of nachos and these were amazing!  I could eat nachos basically any day, but these seemed like they were from a restaurant and I devoured them.  I froze the rest of the meat so we can pull it out and reheat on the stove when we need an easy dinner!

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Greek Potatoes

Okay, one last recipe from our Greek Supper Club last week.  Brittney made these delicious fingerling potatoes in the crockpot, and I had to share it because these could be a side dish with any dinner!

Greek Potatoes

Ingredients:greek potatoes 01

  • 3 lbs fingerling potatoes, halved
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 T chopped fresh parsley leaves

Lightly coat the inside of a 6-qt slow cooker with nonstick spray.  Mix the olive oil, butter, lemon juice, garlic, oregano and paprika in a small bowl.  Place the potatoes in the crockpot and pour the mixture on top.

Stir it so the potatoes are covered.  Cover and cook on low heat for 4-5 hours, or high heat for 2-3 hours.

When potatoes are tender, garnish with lemon zest and parsley.  Serve immediately!

Foolproof Crockpot Roast

Remember a few weeks ago when I talked about my first crockpot fail?  Well, my mom sent me her recipe when she saw that post, so I’ll never have to screw up the basic crockpot roast again!  Thanks, Mom 🙂  I decided to redeem myself on President’s Day since I had the day off from work, and because I screwed up the first one on another holiday I had off.

Crockpot Roastroast 01

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 lb chuck roast
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 1/2 can water
  • 1 pack Lipton’s dried onion soup mix

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a pan. Brown the roast on both sides, then put it in the crockpot.

Mix together the mushroom soup, water and the dried onion soup in a bowl.  Pour over the roast and cook on low 8 to 10 hours.  Pull the roast apart, and serve with mashed potatoes or rice!

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Results : Seriously, you can’t screw this up and you know it’s going to be delicious.  I’ve made this plenty of times since I left home when I was craving meat and potatoes, but didn’t want to put in a lot of effort.  The recipe makes a lot of gravy so have mashed potatoes ready as a side.  We both loved it, and completely cleaned our plates!

Like I mentioned, I had President’s Day off, and it was one of my most productive days ever, so I decided to make dinner extra special and set the table too (normally we eat on the coffee table).  We were also celebrating the fact that he proposed a year ago!

Hunter was pretty pumped to come home to a clean house, homemade from scratch dinner, bottle of wine, and music playing.  It’s amazing what I can do on a day off of work!
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Crockpot Fail

In today’s world people tend to glaze over failures, and only post things to social media to make it seem like they have the perfect life, meals, boyfriend, etc.  Well I am far from perfect, and I managed to screw up a recipe using the most foolproof cooking method, the crockpot.

I had MLK Day off from work, but Hunter didn’t, so I planned to have a roast cook during the day while I ran errands, and then it’d be done after work / class.  I couldn’t find my mom’s dependable roast recipe, so I went with a recipe I found online… In my head I was already planning on writing a post about my delicious roast we were going to eat that night, ha.

The recipe called for the roast to cook 5 hours on high, so around 6:30pm we checked on it and it looked like it had barely cooked.  Around 8pm we were both starving and the roast was just hanging out and not ready to eat, so we gave up and made Trader Joe’s orange chicken (best back up meal ever).

At this point we decided to keep the crockpot on so the roast would keep cooking, but turned it down to low.  Before bed, I got paranoid so turned it to warm so it staying on wouldn’t burn our place down.

24 hours later, we ate the longest crockpot roast ever cooked.  The potatoes were basically all mushed up, carrots were barely together, but the meat was finally tender and pulling apart.  After all of that, I thought it lacked flavor and wasn’t impressed.

I typically share new recipes that turn out great, or else tried and true recipes I’ve been making for years… but here’s a failure — just so you know my life (and all the recipes & crafts in it) isn’t perfect!

Cheers to having a backup meal ready!

Slow Cooker Chili with Corn

Sunday was the first time it’s felt like fall in awhile, and we were both craving something warm to eat while watching football. Well chili was the perfect solution!  I don’t have a great go-to recipe, so I found one online I wanted to try, and we grabbed the ingredients during a break in football.

Slow Cooker Chili with Corn

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lean ground turkey or beefchili 01
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 16 oz tomato sauce
  • 8 oz diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 16 oz black beans, drained
  • 12 oz sweet corn kernels, drained
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 green bell pepper, minced
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 3 t chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Dash of cayenne
  • Dash of Tabasco sauce

Put olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef, 1/2 t salt, garlic powder, and black pepper.  Cook until browned, then drain and put in your dutch oven or crock pot.

Add in the rest of the ingredients, and stir well.  Cook on low for 6-7 hours, or high for 4-5 hours for a crock pot, or simmer for 4 hours in your dutch oven.

Serve warm, and garnish with desired toppings like sour cream, cheddar cheese, cilantro, or lime slices.  Makes 4-6 servings.

Edits : The original recipe called for all spice, and I didn’t have any, so I left it out.  I also added more corn that the original recipe, and we upped the heat with more tabasco, chili powder and cayenne than it called for.  We only simmered it in the dutch oven for 2 hours because we were hungry, and that was fine.

Results :  Delicious!  It was a perfect dinner for the first chilly day we have had in weeks.  I baked some corn muffins to serve with it which were the perfect complement.  The extra spice helped clear my sinuses too.  Now I’m looking forward to having the leftovers!