Monday, April 8, 2013

Crock Pot Verde Carnitas

Delicious and simple...what more can you ask for?
You know what I love? Easy recipes. And it doesn’t get any easier than tossing a few things in the Crock Pot. This is one of my tried-and-true slow cooker faves. I don’t know where the recipe originated from but I’ve changed it a little over time in order to make it as simple—and tasty—as possible.
In the past, I’ve always used Pacifico, Corona, or Tecate as my “cerveza” of choice, but I didn’t have any of those in the fridge so a nice maple porter from Sam Adams went into the pot instead. (Really, whichever beer you are willing to sacrifice will do the trick.) You can also swap the beer for water or chicken broth if you are so inclined. Finally, if you don’t like pork tenderloin, chicken works really well in this recipe, too. Here’s what I came up with.
Crock Pot Verde Carnitas
Serves 8-10
1 medium white onion, chopped (a little reserved for garnish)

1 pork tenderloin (I get the 2-pack at Costco and use one package per meal…it’s probably 1.5 pounds or so)
1 12-ounce beer of your choice
1 large jar of salsa verde a.k.a. green salsa (a little reserved for garnish)
Fresh cilantro, washed, trimmed, and chopped (for garnish, optional)
Reduced-fat sour cream  (optional)
Corn or flour tortillas (I like the carb balance ones from Mission)
Guacamole (optional)
Place chopped onion in slow cooker. Add tenderloin and pour beer into the pot. Cover the tenderloin with most of the jar of salsa verde (remember to save a little for later!). Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours.

When cooking time is complete, shred the tenderloin with a fork (when it’s done, it falls apart easily). Serve taco-style on corn or flour tortillas and garnish with remaining onion and salsa verde and add a little cilantro and sour cream, if desired. (Chopped tomatoes and shredded lite Mexican cheese are good additions too!)

Really, you can’t go wrong with these yummy carnitas. Be aware this recipe makes A LOT of food. It’s awesome for feeding a group but the leftovers are also great served over brown rice or on top of tortilla chips with cheese and jalapeños nacho style. If you are trying to be all healthy, you can serve this mixture over romaine lettuce and go the low-carb route. It’s really versatile and delicious no matter how you eat it.

The recipe as written above produces a fair amount of liquid. If you don’t like it so “soupy” you can reduce the amount of water or beer you add or leave it out altogether and just let the tenderloin cook in the salsa. Up to you!

Again, I‘ve been making this recipe for years and it’s always a big hit in our household. Give it a shot and let me know what you think.

Until next time,

P.S. Happy 70th birthday, Dad! I love you and hope your day is as wonderful and special as you are.

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