Monday, September 2, 2013

Crockpot Asian Carnitas

I can't believe how much more motivated I am to keep a clean kitchen since we moved in to the new house.  I actually wipe down the counters every night.  With spray.  And sweep most nights too.  Who am I?  The kitchen isn't even substantially bigger than the apartment, but it's more open so the TV is in earshot while I clean.  Nothing makes me want to get down and scrub like Project Runway, let me tell ya.

The Coach and I finally got a grill yesterday--wahoo!  We (a.k.a. I) have been talking about it ever since we upgraded to a porch that doesn't overlook a parking lot.  With wonderfully generous housewarming gifts from our parents, we finally splurged.  So get ready for some grilling recipes!  That is, once we get propane.  Because it turns out that when you buy a grill it doesn't magically come with fuel.  Or instill in you an instant knowledge of all things charred.  But don't worry, I got a wok on super-sale at Macy's yesterday so once I learn how to turn this beast on, I will at the very minimum be able to tell you how to stir fry some veggies.  I know you were worried.

In sweaty-mess news, my gym is being renovated.  And by renovated, I mean the carpet was torn out of the locker room 3 months ago.  And until this weekend, the transition had pretty much ended there.  Now they're replacing the carpet in the gym itself (still naked floors in the women's bathroom), and in the process squished basically every machine in the gym in to a 10' x 10' space.  Which doesn't bother me because I only use free weights and barbells, but I have to say watching the people who normally use those machines exclusively wander aimlessly this morning was pretty amusing.  I know, I'm mean, but seriously if the bicep machine is pushed up against the calf raise gadget and you don't know how to survive, then your gym membership should be cancelled.

So as you may remember, the Coach dislikes the crockpot.  For that reason, I basically save the slow cooker for preparing protein for my weekday lunches.  I typically toss some chicken and Frank's in there and call it a day, every now and then throwing in cocoa coffee chili rubbed pulled pork for a change.  And then I met this recipe from TGIPaleo and my world was effectively rocked.  This is hands down the best crockpot recipe I've ever made or tried.  And it's so so so easy!  I know what you're wondering...did the Coach like it?  I'd like to say he did, but he's a crockpot snob and said it was dry.  Which it isn't.  So ignore him and listen to me, ok?

Crockpot Asian Carnitas
3-5 lbs pork shoulder or butt (I've tried boneless and bone-in and thought the bone-in kept it juicier)
1/4 c Sesame Oil (I did half sesame and half olive oil because sesame is a bit too strong for me)
6 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/4 c Rice Vinegar
2 T Fresh Ginger, grated
1/4 c Low Sodium Tamari (soy, aminos, etc)
1/2t Cayenne

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients and pour over the pork in the crockpot.  Cook on low for 10 hours.

The pork should be fall apart tender at this point.  Now put it on a large baking dish and break it in to smaller pieces, however you like.  Broil for 8-10 minutes until each piece is browned and slightly crispy.  You might be tempted to skip this step, but trust me it's worth it for the crispy result.


Your kitchen will smell amazing.  And if pork weirds you out, I've also made this with chicken and it turns out almost as delicious.  Are you drooling yet?  Because you should be.

That's all for today folks!  Hope everyone had a nice Labor Day!


  1. So glad you're back!
    In small world news, I just discovered & have that cocoa coffee chili recipe open for when Grey comes back. Unlike The Coach, he loves all things crock pot & what could possibly make him want to wife me up faster than coming home after a month away to an apartment smelling like C^3 Pork!

  2. Haha solid plan! It's definitely a spouse-level recipe. I recommend mixing some apple juice with the broth, even better!