The BEST Pork Carnitas and My Best Friend’s Cookbook!

These pork carnitas are the PERFECT weeknight meal and a new staple in our household!  Absolutely love them!  The pulled pork recipe as well as the carnitas are from my best friend’s new cookbook Fast and Easy Five-Ingredient Recipes: A Cookbook for Busy People.  Get your copy now on Amazon!The BEST pork carnitasI have been procrastinating writing this post for weeks.  Partly because I’ve been busier than usual but mostly because I honestly can’t seem to find words that will be good enough for what I want to say to you about this recipe, this cookbook, and my best friend.  I’ve told you about my bestie Phi before.  I talk about her a lot on this blog.  We’ve gone everywhere together… from Kansas City, to Arkansas, to California, to Chicago (twice), to Michigan, to Portland, to Orlando, to Charlotte, and Raleigh.  I may be forgetting someplace, but bottom line, we are obsessed with each other.  #OBSESSED.

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That’s us in Michigan…again obsessed with each other.

So Phi has this incredible blog, which I’m sure you’ve probably heard of by now: Sweetphi.com which has fantastic recipes…many of which I have made and can report to you that they are fabulous!  She has this amazing series called “Five Ingredient Fridays” which is perfect for busy bees like me who literally have almost no time to cook.  Almost all of her recipes involve items already in my pantry, and can be made quickly and easily.  I adore all of her recipes.  When I found out she was creating a cookbook of her best five-ingredient recipes, I knew I wanted to be first in line on the pre-order because I just HAD TO HAVE IT.The BEST pork carnitas

Being her best friend and all, I of course got to witness the behind the scenes of making the book…recipe testing, editing, photographing etc.  I even got to test one of the recipes for the book WAY before it came out (like a year ago!)… spoiler alert: it was the Spinach Alfredo Lasagna and it is the BOMB.COM.  Definitely make that one!!  Watching Phi put so much into this book, I knew it would be absolutely incredible.  I knew it would be heartfelt and from a place of love and passion.  I knew it would have amazing shoutouts to her husband (there are lot of them!!…in her defense he is absolutely amazing and one of the most supportive husbands I’ve ever known, so I totally get it!).   There were even shoutouts to ME!  I have never been more humbled than when I held Phi’s book for the first time and saw references to me all over the place!  Here are some of them:13529127_10101038931694405_8561720013959043956_n13528676_10101038931649495_1863290287188802063_n13524402_10101038931859075_9102543673529365559_n13509049_10101038931684425_2436182095455804435_n13501795_10101038931634525_7097447916171670999_n

SO YEA.  I was pretty much speechless…all I could do was Snapchat and send endless emojis and snaps to Phi.  I have never been MORE PROUD of her and I feel SO LUCKY that she is my friend.  She is such a wonderful person and to see her have this kind of success is just amazing because I have never known someone so deserving of amazingness.  Love her to pieces!!

OK back to the recipes!

I can tell you I completely struggled to figure out which thing to make from this amazing cookbook.  I had already made some of the incredible recipes: the  Chicken Feta Tomato Pasta, the Ramen with an Egg, and the Spinach Alfredo Lasagna… ALL AMAZING…ALL will totally make again (actually have made the Ramen at least a dozen times at this point).  I made the Peanut Butter Sea Salt Cookies too and they were a HUGE hit among everyone (especially the husband which is a MEGA DEAL around here!!!).

But I knew I wanted to try a new entree…things were getting a little repetitive around our household for dinner, and I really wanted to change it up.  So I decided to go for the Soda Pulled Pork, and then make that into Carnitas (both recipes in the book!)! The Soda Pulled Pork is literally so easy, it took me a nanosecond to get it prepared and ready to go.  I popped it all in the slow cooker and went along my merry way to work and came home to delicious pulled pork without having to do anything!  Full disclosure: they didn’t have pork shoulder at my grocery store (except for a giant 8 pounder) so I used pork tenderloin and this recipe still worked beautifully!  Not only did I use the pork to make the carnitas, but I froze some of it (which I NEVER do so that should tell you how freaking delicious it is), and used some of the leftovers to make these rice bowls with rice, pulled pork, tomatoes, cotija cheese, jalapeño, limes, avocado and a fried egg on top… Matt was in love with me big time after these rice bowls!  I will definitely be making them again with some of the leftover pork… which I WILL have because I just bought ANOTHER pork tenderloin tonight to make this pulled pork again this week (in fact it is in my slow cooker as you are reading this post (originally wrote “pork” instead of “post,” so you can see where my head’s at lol!)).  HOLA CARNITAS!The BEST pork carnitas

Make these this week, y’all for REAL!  I cannot speak highly enough of this fantastic book and I think EVERYONE should get a copy of Fast and Easy Five-Ingredient Recipes: A Cookbook for Busy People immediately.  It has SO many good recipes!  I can’t tell you how many cookbooks I own with one or two recipes I love, but this one literally has SO many and I know that we will be making some of these for years to come… I have already planned to make the Yogurt Chicken and Caramelized Onion Pasta this week and the Marinated Yogurt Lemon Chicken is next on my list after that!

But for now, I’m going with these carnitas once again, because I can’t stop thinking about them since I made them the first time when I got the book.  I love topping them with fun toppings like quick-pickled onions, jalapeños, cotija (or feta if you can’t find cotija), lots of lime juice and avocado.  Phi suggests cilantro, but I’m one of those weird people who doesn’t like cilantro, so definitely listen to her if you like it and load it up with cilantro!  These carnitas are simply the best: so simple and the possibilities for toppings are literally endless.  Get creative, and enjoy!!

I will be back with more reviews as I make more of these fabulous recipes!!

Now go get yourself a copy of Fast and Easy Five-Ingredient Recipes: A Cookbook for Busy People so you can enjoy the rest of the fabulous recipes this book has to offer!

Fast and Easy Five-Ingredient Recipes: A Cookbook for Busy People

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The BEST Pork Carnitas and My Best Friend's Cookbook!
 
Author:
The Elements
Soda Pulled Pork
  • 1 (3 1⁄2- to 4 1⁄2-pound) pork shoulder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground
  • black pepper
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • (optional)
  • 3 cups full-flavored cola soda,
  • such as Coke or Pepsi
Carnitas
  • 24 small tortilla shells (corn tortilla shells work great)
  • 1 recipe Soda Pulled Pork (page 137; see notes)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro (from 1 bunch cilantro)
  • 4 limes, sliced into wedges, for serving
Procedure
Soda Pulled Pork
  1. Place the pork shoulder, fat side down, in a slow cooker. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
  2. Place the red onion in the slow cooker around the pork.
  3. Pour the soda over the pork. Cover the slow cooker and set on LOW. Cook for 8 hours, then transfer the pork to a shallow bowl or cutting board with a lip and, using two forks, shred it.
  4. To store, place the shredded pork in an airtight container and pour some juices from the slow cooker over the meat. This pork freezes and reheats very well. To freeze, place the shredded pork in a resealable plastic freezer bag and label with the date when it was made.
Carnitas
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the tortillas on a baking sheet and bake for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the edges start to curl up. Remove from the oven and set on a plate.
  2. Put the shredded pork, cilantro, and lime wedges in individual bowls for taco assembly.
  3. To assemble the tacos, put a few forkfuls of pork into a tortilla shell, add a pinch of cilantro, and squeeze some lime juice on top. Repeat until all the tacos are assembled, then serve and enjoy.
The Verdict
The best carnitas ever! Get creative with toppings! Jalapeños and avocados! Cotija and pickled onions! The world is your oyster!
 

One comment

  1. Phi @ The Sweetphi Blog says:

    LYNN! I am rendered speechless by your incredible post. THANK YOU for being the best friend ever and sharing about my cookbook, these carnitas look so delicious I want to make them for dinner this week!!!
    You were there from the beginning of this dream-turned-reality cookbook, and I love you more than I can express. You kept me sane when I thought I was going to go a little nuts at times with the endless to-dos, but you always made me know I could do it because you were right there cheering me on.
    I’m so appreciative of you! Literally – all those weekends when I was doing like 8-10 photoshoots, you kept me going with all those calls/snaps/texts!!!
    I’m so SO happy that you like the recipes, and that you helped me test them way back when, and that you were up for our little photo shoots when I didn’t even have everything figured out – you were just 100% there and always supportive and amazing! GAH I love you so friggin much – #obsessed #loveyou #grateful

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