I made slow cooker pork carnitas last week and the flavour and versatility have earned them a spot on my rotation of "must-do meals."
I followed the recipe exactly, with the exception of the bay leaves. I didn't have any so I omitted them. They definitely would have added more flavour but the recipe didn't suffer from the exclusion. Adding the orange rinds to the slow cooker added a real depth of flavour; I'd hesitate to use bottled orange juice and omit the rinds.
After the shredding step, but before the broiling step, I froze half the meat for future meals. The recipe makes a lot.
So! What did we make with our carnitas? The first night we had tacos. The following night we had taco salads (leftover taco toppings piled on leafy greens with a squeeze of lime juice as dressing). And last night (aka "use whatever's left in the fridge because tomorrow we're going grocery shopping" night) I made this:
I fried up some leftover carnitas in a bit of olive oil until hot and crispy. I piled it on top of a diced avocado and quartered grape tomatoes while I quickly fried up an egg. A sprinkle of fresh cilantro finished it off. It was quick (it took less than 10 minutes to assemble) and tasty. I will definitely be recreating with roasted sweet potatoes and some sort of black bean / corn fresh salsa in the future.
You can see why I love this recipe, right? One day of effort got me three tasty, nutritious meals AND more in the freezer.
Do you have a slow cooker recipe that makes you feel like a kitchen ninja? Share the love!