Last week I made this Pressure Cooker Spicy Pork Shoulder recipe for dinner in the crock pot, and while the spicy chili sauce and pickled vegetable components are what initially caught my eye, the pork itself ended up being the breakout star.
To be fair I never got around to assembling the vegetables, and made so many substitutions to the sauce that it hardly passed for the original recipe, but OMG THE PORK! Totally had a couple “sniff sniff – why in the WORLD does my house smell so good?! Oh right, I’m slow cooking something.” moments throughout the day.
Super interesting. Anyway, the shredded pork couldn’t have been easier – just pork, garlic, brown sugar, salt, pepper, red chili flakes, and chicken broth slow cooked for 7 hours then shredded. I’m sure I ate no less than 1/2lb shredded pork straight from the crock pot. This is the BEST all-purpose shredded pork recipe to ever come out of my kitchen!
So again, I originally made this pork to pair with a spicy sauce and pickled vegetables, but ended up layering it in a bowl with yellow rice, garlic jalapeño sautéed spinach, an over easy egg, the sauce, and crispy shallots. Ben went a step further though, and crisped the shredded pork in a skillet with extra virgin olive oil to make crispy carnitas before assembling his meal. Ding, ding, ding – we had a winner!!
I had major bowl envy after hearing him crunch his way through his bowl, and decided to try the technique on the leftover pulled pork for breakfast the very next day. Talk about a winner! Crispy Crock Pot Carnitas with Egg and Avocado is not only what’s for breakfast, but lunch, dinner, and every meal in between. This gluten-free, low-carb dish absolutely SLAYS and takes just 5 minutes to make.
All you have to do is slow cook then shred the pork, let it sizzle in extra virgin olive oil until crunchy, and then layer with thinly sliced avocado, an offensive amount of fresh lime juice, and a runny egg. I’m telling you, there’s not a better meal out there. Tons of protein, flavor, and texture. I could eat this meal every single day (and I have been for a week!)
Now, real quick, back to this pork. The flavor is easily adaptable to any cuisine, so use the leftover shredded pork in everything from tacos to stir fry, soups, and salads. It also freezes really well. I’ve been using the leftovers to make Shredded Pork Fried Rice. Stir fry vegetables in a wok until tender then add shredded pork. Push the ingredients to the side of the wok then scramble eggs whisked with a bit of sesame oil in the center. Add cooked rice then toss and drizzle with soy sauce to taste. Ob. Sessed.
In the meantime, we slow cook then sizzle. You ready?
Start with a 3-1/2 – 4lb boneless pork butt, aka a Boston Butt, which is actually a shoulder cut of the pig. Apparently the odd name was given during the Colonial days when butchers would pack lesser quality cuts of meat (compared to a chop or tenderloin anyway,) into barrels called butts. Mmkay!
Trim the pork of excess fat then cut into 6 or 7 hunks and place into the bottom of a 6-quart crock pot.
Next add 4 large cloves microplaned garlic (if you don’t have a microplane, use a garlic press or mince the garlic very very fine – you want it to melt into the meat!) 2 Tablespoons brown sugar (could use coconut sugar to keep this recipe super clean,) 3/4 Tablespoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Rub the seasonings into the meat to evenly coat then pour in 3/4 cup chicken broth.
Place a lid on top then cook on low for 6-8 hours or until the meat shreds very easily with a fork. Resist the urge to overcook the meat or else it could dry out. Shred the pork with two forks then add to a bowl and spoon enough cooking liquid over the top to moisten.
Now, you could either use the pork right away, or stash it away in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. As I mentioned, the leftover shredded pork is fantastic in fried rice, salads, soups, tacos, quesadillas, etc – the flavor is PERFECT for adapting to any cuisine! Plus, if you have any leftover at the end of the week, it freezes beautifully.
Ours, however, is skillet-bound! Drizzle enough extra virgin olive oil into the bottom of a small, 8-10″ skillet over medium-high heat to coat the bottom then add 1 cup pork (or more or less – whatever you’re feeling!) Press down firmly with a spatula then saute until the bottom is golden brown and flip.
Now, the pork has a tendency to want to fall apart after the first flip, but it’s fine. Just gather it back together then press with a spatula, saute until the second side is golden brown, and then flip a third time and saute until crisp. Feel free to add more extra virgin olive oil at any point if you think the pork needs it to keep sizzling.
Slide the crispy carnitas onto a plate then scrape the skillet out, spray with nonstick spray, and cook 1 egg to your liking. Top the pork with fresh avocado slices, tons of fresh lime juice, salt, and the egg, then DIG.IN!! I hope you love this flavor and protein-packed, low-carb, gluten-free dish that’s good any time of day! Enjoy!
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Crispy Crock Pot Carnitas with Egg and Avocado
Crispy Crock Pot Carnitas with Egg and Avocado is a mouthwatering and simple crock pot recipe. Make for a protein-packed, low-carb, gluten-free meal any time of day!
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 avocado, sliced
- 1/4 lime
- 1 egg
- For the Crock Pot Carnitas:
- 3-1/2lb pork butt (shoulder,) trimmed of excess of fat and cut into hunks
- 4 large garlic cloves, microplaned
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 3/4 Tablespoon salt
- black pepper to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- For the Crock Pot Carnitas: Place pork into the bottom of a 6-quart crock pot then add garlic, brown sugar, salt, black pepper, and red chili pepper flakes. Rub with your hands to evenly coat the pork all over then add the chicken broth. Place a lid on top then cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until meat easily shreds with a fork. Place shredded pork into a large bowl then spoon enough of the cooking liquid over the top to moisten. Refrigerate until ready to use - can be done several days ahead of time.
- Add enough extra virgin olive oil to the bottom of a small skillet over heat that's just a touch above medium to form a thin layer on the bottom. Add 1 cup of shredded pork (or more or less) then flatten with a spatula and saute until crispy on one side. Flip and press then saute until the second side is crispy. Your patty may fall apart when flipping - that's ok. Just flip a third time, press, and saute until crispy again. Transfer crispy carnitas to a plate.
- Spray the skillet with nonstick spray then crack an egg into the center and cook according to your preferences (sunny side up, fried, over easy, etc.)
- Top crispy carnitas with avocado slices, drizzle with lime juice and salt, and then top with the egg and serve.
- Use leftover pulled pork for stir fries, sandwiches, tacos, nachos, salads, etc., or freeze.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.