Steal This Meal: Crock Pot Carnitas

Today’s STM submission comes from Lydia Ash, of Lawrence, KS.  Lydia is almost through her first Whole30, and shared a bit of her experience with us via email.  Lydia writes:

“I’m a life-long sweet addict – carb cravings were part of my daily life. The sugar addiction, coupled with a general dislike of exercise, resulted in a battle with obesity since childhood.

I began my first Whole30 on August 1st, after eating “primal” since April.  That made the transition to Whole30 a lot easier… but it didn’t make the changes any less noticeable. Improvements that amazed me:  I don’t crave pastries anymore.  I think those things would still taste good–but the constant obsession over eating them is gone. I no longer swell up like a balloon after every meal.  I have energy to exercise in the evenings after work now–a feat that was unthinkable six months ago.  I have huge and fast improvement in muscle definition. For a forty-year-old gal, these gains are pretty amazing.

Many thanks to Whole9 for promoting the Whole30 program. I appreciate your advice, your enthusiasm, and your recipes! The least I could do is offer up one of mine.”

Lydia’s recipe submission is perfect for single-eaters, families on the go and those of us looking for an easy, no-fuss meal.  Crock pot cooking is fast and convenient – you do the prep, and the cooker does all the hard work for you.  It’s healthy – when fresh ingredients are cooked at a low temperature, you retail the natural juices, vitamins and minerals from your meat and vegetables.  And the cooker lets you make a big meal, perfect for freezing for later (or leftover lunches the following day).  Mix and match ingredients to suit your fancy – what could be easier?

Steal This Meal:  Crockpot Carnitas

(Serves 4)

  • 5lbs of country-style spare pork ribs (or however many will fit in your crock pot)
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 2 cups of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups of diced peppers
  • 2 heaping tsp dried oregano
  • 1 heaping tsp granulated garlic powder
  • 1 heaping tbsp chili powder
  • 2heaping tsp  cumin

Mix all dry spices in a small bowl. I use a heavy hand with the spices – season to taste.   Mix the diced tomatoes and peppers in a separate bowl.

Put down one layer of the ribs in the bottom of the crock. Sprinkle a spoonful of the spice mixture over the meat and spread around some of the tomato/pepper mixture. Top with onions. Make a second layer of ribs and continue until you are out of ingredients. I like to finish with ribs on top, not onions, so the layers are slightly uneven.

Turn crockpot to low and cook for at least eight hours.

Using a pasta-serving spoon, shred your pork ribs. This is the best use for a pasta-serving spoon ever. It allows you to pull apart the meat and remove the bones as well as any egregiously large pieces of fatty gristle.

Use this to make a hot salad, or serve alongside some cauliflower rice and cucumber slices. I especially like it as a salad because the cooking liquid can serve as dressing–no extra condiments necessary. My favorite is a hot salad topped with some avocado slices. It’s what’s for dinner tonight!   This freezes really well, too. Perfect for single-eaters or small families.

Got a delicious, simple, Whole30-approved list of ingredients for our next Friday recipe feature? Send your Steal This Meal entry (along with photos and YOUR Whole30-inspired story!) to [email protected].