I rarely post noodle style meals. I’m just not a huge noodle eater and tend to lean towards rice in most cases. These skinny ramen noodles that I recently discovered, however, have me indulging in EVERYTHING noodle. These are a millet and rice based ramen […]
This week my littlest little went off to kindergarten embarking on a new adventure for himself and spreading his wings. Of course, that makes me a little teary-eyed because the house feels a little too quiet but I welcome the change. I’ve been home with […]
Oh man, you guys are in for a treat! These may not be one-hundred percent authentic Mexican but dang are they good. You will NOT be disappointed. This recipe originally comes from my sister so I have to give her credit for the basic rub ingredients in these carnitas. From there, I subbed in coconut sugar instead of the more traditional brown sugar and added in juniper berries, bay leaves and lime juice during slow-cooking.
The first step is mix up the spice rub and massage it into the pork loin. I like my carnitas to have a little smokiness to it so I’ve used smoked salt in this rub but you can certainly use a fine sea salt or pink himlayan as well. I then sear the loin on a hot grill for about 5 minutes per side before placing in a slow cooker. Alternately, you could sear this in a large cast iron pan or under a broiler. This gives the outside a nice brown color and you’ll end up with a few intensely delicious crusty bits in each bite.
After searing the loin, slow cook for about 6-8 hours on low until it is easily shreddable. If you prefer it chopped, take it out a little sooner and chop it into bite size pieces of awesomeness. I always do the shredding right inside the slow-cooker so the carnitas can re-absorb all of the juices. This creates a super tender and never dry shredded meat that is so unbelievably perfect!!
For those of you who are masters with a barbeque smoker, I’ve also made this in a smoker on occasion and it turns out amazing. The only change is to skip the juniper berries and bay leaves and add lime juice after shredding to taste. Shred it, chop it, stuff it in your mouth. These carnitas are a tender tasty morsel in fajitas, tacos, salads, nachos and huevos rancheros. The options are endless. Top it with black bean and corn salsa, a fresh pico, shredded lettuce, and queso fresco to complete the meal. Whatever way you choose to eat these carnitas, you can’t go wrong. Serve it up authentic style with a honey margarita on the side!
- 3-4 pound pork loin or shoulder roast
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano (regular will also work)
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons smoked salt or pink himalayan salt
- 2 teaspoons juniper berries
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- Combine all spices except the juniper berries, bay leaves and lime juice in a small bowl and stir until mixed.
- Rub this spice mixture on all sides of the pork loin. You may have extra rub leftover. Save it until after meat is cooked for additional seasoning if desired.
- Heat a grill to high heat.
- Sear meat about 5 minutes on each side. Alternately, sear in cast iron pan or under a broiler.
- Place meat into a slowcooker and add the juniper berries, bay leaves and lime juice.
- Slow cook on low 6-8 hours until meat is easily shreddable.
- Shred meat with a fork inside the slow cooker to allow the meat to re-absorb the juices.
- Taste and add more of the spice rub if desired.
- Serve in tacos, fajitas, on a salad, or with huevos rancheros!
I swear I must have been a prepper in a past life. My husband too for that matter. Lately he’s all about doing/fixing/building/repurposing things for ourselves when he can and has decided to take up blacksmithing as a hobby. I am highly supportive of creative physical hobbies that also happen […]
Two weeks to go until we are supposed to close on our new house and the appraisal isn’t scheduled until next week which means we may not close on time and we need to close by the end of May. If we can’t, we then would be homeless and unable to close the new house until the first week in June due some odd circumstances happening right now. I guess we just say a little prayer and hold our breath in the rush-hour home buying traffic happening right now and hope it all works out as it’s out of our hands at this point. I HATE that feeling!!
Porchetta seasoned tenderloin is one of those things that can take my mind off of the current life stress as it’s flavor is AMAZING! Yes, I totally cheated and didn’t make the “real deal” porchetta as that involves a pork belly, seasoned, rolled up and tied with butcher’s twine and then slow roasted. This looks super pretty when you slice it but you can get the same flavorful punch and tender juiciness from a pork tenderloin in a significantly shorter amount of time and in a more appropriate serving size for an average family.
The seasoning blend in this porchetta seasoned tenderloin consists of fennel seeds, sage, rosemary, garlic and a bit of crushed red pepper. To get the most flavor, I pan roasted the fennel seeds and red pepper until they just started to brown and were very fragrant. After roasting the fennel and pepper, combine in a mortar and pestle and crush until fairly fine. You can add the sage and rosemary at this point as well to blend.
These spices are then drizzled with olive oil and combined with minced garlic to form a paste. Then give your tenderloin a good rub with the spice paste to coat it on all sides. Let it rest for 30 minutes, then sear it in a frying pan and grill over indirect heat. The best way to do this is to shift your charcoal to one side of the grill or to just light one burner on a gas grill to medium and grill the tenderloin on the opposite side until it reaches 145 degrees which should be about 40 minutes. Alternately, you can roast it in the oven at 325 degrees. After taking off the grill, let it rest for 5 minutes before serving. Slice into cute little discs and serve up some deliciousness!
- 1 pork tenderloin (whole, about 1.5-2 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
- 2 teaspoons sage
- 1 teaspoon rosemary
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- olive oil 1-2 tablespoons, or enough to form a thick paste when combined with spices
- Roast fennel seeds and red pepper in frying fan until just starting to brown and are very fragrant.
- Combine fennel and red pepper with all other dry spices in a mortar and pestle and crush until fairly fine.
- Add garlic and olive oil to spice mixture to form a thick paste.
- Rub spice mixture onto pork tenderloin on all sides and let sit 30 minutes.
- Preheat grill for indirect heat by turning one gas burner on to medium/medium high or placing charcoal all on one side of grill. Alternately, preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- While grill/oven is preheating, sear tenderloin in skillet on all sides.
- Place tenderloin on grill over indirect heat (the opposite side of the charcoal or gas burner that's lit) and grill turning occasionally until internal temp reaches 145 degrees, approx. 40 minutes.
- Take tenderloin off the heat and let rest on a plate 5 minutes before serving.
- To serve, slice into discs.