This Ain’t Our First Fiesta – Slow Cooked Carnitas with Ancho Chile Sauce


There is no better way to honor Cinco de Mayo than to slow cook a pork roast in the crock pot for 12 hours. You simply rub the roast with spices, dump in some beer and forget about it. We started ours at 10 o’clock the night before so by the next morning the whole house smelled amazing and the pork was falling apart mid-air from pot to plate. By the time dinner rolled around, we had plenty of time to grill some peppers, make an ancho sauce and salsa from scratch and chill out from our day in the sun. ¡Salud!

For the Carnitas:
3 lbs. pork shoulder
1 bottle of dark beer
Spice rub (we used a pretty basic blend of crushed red pepper, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper, and a couple of other random things that I’m forgetting about – be creative!)

For the Ancho Chile Sauce:
1 yellow onion
Ancho chiles
14 oz. diced tomatoes
Vinegar (we used apple cider, but white vinegar would work as well)

For the Tacos:
Variety of peppers (anaheim, jalepeño, cherry bomb, poblano, serrano, etc.)
Fresh corn tortillas
Black beans
Cotija cheese

Soften the ancho chiles in warm water while you dice a yellow onion. Heat some olive oil in a heavy skillet and when it’s hot, add the onion and the diced anchos. Sautée until the onion is golden for about 10 minutes. Add a few cloves of diced garlic and cook until soft (2-3 more minutes). Add the diced tomatoes and heat through. Remove the mixture from the heat and let cool a bit. With a burr mixer or blender, purée the mixture until it has reached a smooth consistency. Add a bit of vinegar to taste.

Meanwhile, grill the peppers until black and remove to a glass bowl or casserole dish. Cover the dish with saran wrap until the skins are softened. Carefully remove the skins when cool enough to handle.

For those of you who missed our teasers on Facebook, here are the shots again from our crock pot adventure. The leftovers only get better with time so be prepared to fall in love again and again!


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