I have been to Chipotle exactly three times. Each time, I’ve ordered the exact same thing. Rut much? But when it’s so very good, why deviate, right? After the last time that my friend Beth and I went, I decided to get to work on recreating my favorite dish at home. After all, it really was just a combination of a few different components, packed with fresh ingredients and clean eating to the very last bite. Why shouldn’t I enjoy it at home?
When you order the salad at Chipotle, you start with the base of lettuce and build from there, deciding on your meat option, which salsa you want, whether you want red beans or black, rice or not, corn or not, guacamole, sour cream and so on down the line. When I’m ordering, I go with carnitas (pork), black beans, fresh salsa, cilantro lime rice and guacamole. Although it comes with dressing, I swear you don’t need it. All the other flavors mingle together to do a happy little dance in your mouth without it. The salad is filling, utterly satisfying and guilt-free.
As far as a recipe goes, the most important one you need is for the carnitas. It’s super simple since it just hangs out in your crockpot. The pork is insanely tender, coming apart with just the touch of your fork after it’s done.
To assemble your dish? When serving, I put out lettuce leaves in a big bowl, and then separate bowls for the pork, black beans, fresh salsa, guacamole (avocado, cilantro, sea salt and lemon juice, that’s it people), and cilantro lime rice (last weekend, I used my own made up version, but I have since found this copycat version, which I’ll be trying tomorrow night). This way, everyone could build their Carnitas Salad the way they see fit. And now with the recipe below, you can too, so hop to it. It’s so very good, especially when all put together … your only regret will be not having had it sooner.
Slow Cooked Pork Carnitas (Mexican Pulled Pork)
3 Pounds pork shoulder blade roast, boneless
10 Cloves garlic, cut into thick slices
1 Tablespoon cumin
¾ Teaspoon Adobo
½ Teaspoon oregano
½ Teaspoon thyme
¾ Cup fat-free chicken broth
2 Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (remove the pepper from the can and use, do not add sauce from can)
Salt and pepper
Season the pork with salt and pepper and brown on both sides in a skillet on medium heat. Remove from heat. Using a knife, make slits all over the pork and stuff with the garlic pieces. Season the pork with the cumin, Adobo, oregano and thyme. Put the pork in the crockpot, and add the chicken broth to the bottom of the pot. Add the chipotle peppers. Cover and cook on high for 4.5 hours. Using two forks, shred the pork and combine it with some of the juice at the bottom of the crock pot before serving.