Friday, January 6, 2017

Make-Ahead, Freezable Carnitas

I have no new recipe for you today - just a helpful hint regarding an old recipe.  A few years ago, I had posted a recipe for my favorite carnitas.  It is still a regular meal in our house, since I can get pork shoulder cheap (and, well, it's just amazingly delicious).  And since they're large cuts of meat, I make a lot and freeze the leftovers.  I was recently able to get pork shoulder picnic roast for 69 cents/lb.  I bought almost 16 lbs and paid just under $11.  I fed 11 people (7 adults, 4 kids) dinner with some leftovers, plus bagged 3 more meals for the freezer.  You can get the recipe here.  And you can do a lot more than just make tacos or burritos with this meat.  We also like to make taco salad, quesadillas, nachos, tostadas, omelettes, etc.  This week we made burritos and filled them with carnitas, homemade pico de gallo, avocados, cheese, lime rice, lettuce, sour cream, and hot sauce.

Once the meat is done cooking in the crockpot (and before it's put in the oven), I divide it up into meal-sized portions and place into gallon zip-top bags.  I also divide up the reserved seasoning into snack size zip top bags.  Then I take a seasoning bag, lay it on top of the sealed gallon bag, roll them up together, and put a piece of tape at the top to hold it all in place.  This way the meat and the seasoning are together and I don't have to worry about losing the seasoning (or forgetting where I put it :)).  Before I fill the bags, I write what's in them, the date, and cooking instructions. When I want to eat it, I pull a bag from the freezer and defrost.  I heat the meat, then place it on a large pan (I use a jellyroll pan) and sprinkle with the seasoning.  It's placed it in a preheated 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until crispy.  This makes for a quick and easy meal.  In fact, before I had my last baby, I made sure I had some of this in my freezer for after baby came.

Make-ahead, freezable carnitas
Seasoning packet and meat ready to be rolled up.

make-ahead, freezable, carnitas
The seasoning packet is rolled up inside of this and
the whole thing is secured with a piece of tape.

make-ahead, freezable, carnitas
The finished product, ready for the freezer.

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