When you love celebrations as much as we do, one Christmas a year just isn’t enough. My slow-cooked pork carnitas will be a delicious dinner for you and your family.
Our family traditions were mostly normal. But one thing set us apart. We always had a Christmas dinner in the middle of summer. My mom loved the holidays, so this was her idea. The rest of us did not complain, as we all shared the fondness for pork belly. Our Norwegian Christmas dinner was, and still is, roasted pork belly with the skin on so you get that amazing crackling. My mom made the best pork, and her crackling was the crispiest ever. Christmas in Summer
would be served outside in the garden with potatoes, sprouts, gravy, and lingonberries. We would all dress up, and each person would bring a gift. It was a really cute tradition. I have tried to keep it going here in the U.S., but a couple of years ago, I could not find pork belly with the skin on. I was complaining to James, and he said, Let’s make carnitas. It’s the same flavor, and you get a little crispiness from the meat. Carnitas it was, and it was truly amazing. So now, every year, I do a carnitas Summer Christmas dinner. I eat mine rolled up in a tortilla with some sweet mustard and lingonberry jam.
Long live traditions, new or old. God Jul! Merry Christmas no matter the time of year!
SERVES 6 WITH LEFTOVERS
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
4 to 5 pounds pork shoulder 4 garlic cloves
1 yellow onion, chopped juice from 2 limes
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 bottle of beer
- In a small bowl, mix all the dry spices. Rub spice mix into the pork shoulder.
- In a slow cooker, combine the meat, the remaining spices, garlic, lime, orange juice, and beer.
- Cover and cook for 8 hours.
- Once cooking has finished, and while it’s still in the slow cooker, shred the meat using two forks.
- Cover a baking rack with aluminum foil. Place the shredded meat on the foil, add a little sauce from the slow cooker, and place the rack under the oven’s broiler.
- Broil until the edges of the meat start to brown.
Serve with salsa, tortillas, guacamole, cilantro or, as I do, with tortillas, sweet mustard, and lingonberries.
Made it? Tell us about it–