Recipe of the Week - Carnitas Pizza
If you're like me, you're always looking for a fast and easy way out of dinner. But also, you LOVE to cook. Most nights, I don't get home from work until nearly 6PM. This is after a day of working in the office, with clients, out showings, listing appointments, and/or board meetings. I really do love to cook, but sometimes coming home and making dinner for my boys is the LAST thing I want to do... So, my first "Recipe of the Week" blog post is dedicated to what is possibly, the most amazing kitchen invention of all time. The crockpot. I'm a morning person. The crockpot was introduced in 1940. For 80 years, this handy thing has been making lives easier all. day. long. So, I mixed a crockpot meal with a super easy "homemade" pizza dough and it was SO good!
I put a 4 LB shoulder butt roast into my crockpot on low for 8 hours! I used this video as a reference >> https://damndelicious.net/2014/10/10/slow-cooker-pork-carnitas/
You're going to need:
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt, or more, to taste
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 pound pork shoulder, excess fat trimmed
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 onions, quartered
2 oranges, juiced
2 limes, juiced
Place all of this in the above mentioned crockpot, turn it on low, and put a lid on it! I checked on it every few hours, turning it and making it sure the juices hit every part of the roast. I knew it was finished when it came apart very easily. I pulled it, set it aside, and moved on to the next part of the fun: "homemade" pizza just like my mom used to make.
Seriously, when I was kind, my mom would make us Chef Boyardee pizza every now and then and those were some of my favorite meals we ever had. The crust was always perfect, thick and soft. The sauce was plain and delicious. She would top it with pepperoni (try keeping a bunch of teenagers out of pepperoni packs) and canned mushrooms (which are MY favorite - when I was in college, I would only order pizza from a place if they used canned mushrooms) and lots and lots of cheese. Honestly, it's my favorite pizza. This year for Christmas, my mom got my son, a budding chef, his own pizza kit and a box of Chef Boyardee pizza ingredients. He's been asking daily if we could make his pizza since he opened it! So we finally got to it.
Up until the point that we were mixing the pizza dough, I had every intention of making the carnitas into tacos. Bought all of the ingredients, even started chopping the cilantro. But as we added the water to the pouch of pre-made pizza dough dust, I got a better idea (insert lightbulb emoji here) Carnita Pizza!
While I waited for the dough to rise, I looked up some recipes, and quickly realized I did not have a key ingredient for traditional carnita pizza: enchilada sauce to serve as the base for the pizza. Think, think, think... what did I have? How could I save this brand new idea that I'm already married to? Well, the same way most problems are solved: barbecue sauce! I took some good ol' Sweet Baby Rays and mixed in some of the crockpot juices to thin it out a bit.
Once I was done pressing out the pizza dough, I layered on the sauce, fresh jalepenos (without seeds!), thinly sliced red onion, cilantro, and the oh-so-yummy pork. I topped it with a shredded nacho cheese blend and popped into the oven per the instructions on the Chef Boyardee box. Once it was out, I topped it with crumbled chevre goat cheese from Garrett County's own Firefly Farms and a little more fresh cilantro.
This was an easy, fun, delicious meal. I would love to see pictures when you try to make it! Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on this post!
Oh, and the tacos! The 4 lb roast made more than enough carnitas for the pizza, tacos the next day, and quesadillas the day after that!