Carnitas Hatch Chili Soup

Carnitas Hatch Chili Soup

You can probably guess by the picture above that I have not invested any time in learning how to take the perfect food photograph. Well, friends, this isn’t Instagram. After my oftentimes two hour of a beast drive home there isn’t much ambient sunset light left streaming through my kitchen window. And, besides, by that time I’m so starved that I’m impatiently munching on some dry crackers while plating dinner. What I’m trying to say is: I’m less concerned with making food porn as I am with stuffing my face – er – providing my family with sustenance.

Please forgive me, as food nerdish as this sounds, time is exactly why I love my slow cooker. And I especially love all the calories it saves me from not having to inhale half a box of crackers before dinner is ready. Not that I need an excuse. I really, truly, love me some crackers.

Using the bare bones recipe below will allow you to have your dinner in the crockpot in less than 10 minutes in the morning before you leave for work. This means more time to, like, flat-iron your hair and stuff. Or, for me, double checking your make-up application to make sure you don’t forget your eyeliner and mascara on your right eye. Again. Unless you’re into that “Clockwork Orange” look.

You can do all the minimal chopping and dicing the night before, if you want. If you can find 15 extra minutes to work the *extra* steps into your morning routine, DO IT. I’d even say this soup was worthy of skipping the flat-iron. Helloooooo pony-tail day!

Just a quick note about the Hatch Chilies. If you’re not lucky enough to live in the Southwest to buy some freshly roasted peppers during the fall, try looking in the frozen section of your grocery store. Or, if you aren’t afraid of broiling things, try roasting some green bell peppers on your own. (Bonus points for not catching them on fire).

Carnitas Hatch Chili Soup

Ingredients:

2 to 2 ½ pound pork roast

Large onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

32 ounces chicken stock

1 pound roasted Hatch Chili peppers

2 medium carrots, chopped (Or 1 cup baby carrots)

1 cup corn kernels

1 medium zucchini, chopped (Keep this in fridge until dinnertime to avoid mushy squash)

2 tsp. dried oregano

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 bay leaf

1 tsp. Garlic powder

1 tsp. Ground sea salt

½ tsp. Pepper

To serve: Cooked white rice, chopped cilantro, hot sauce, avocado, lime

Optional ingredient: ½ bottle light Mexican beer

Directions:

  1. Combine 1 tsp. Garlic powder, 1 tsp. ground sea salt, ½ tsp. ground pepper and rub over pork roast.
  2. In a slow cooker, combine the following: pork, onion, garlic, chicken stock, Hatch chilies, carrots, corn, oregano, cumin, and bay leaf.
  3. Cook on low 8 – 10 hours or high 3 – 5 hours.
  4. When you are back home and the cook time is done, shred the roast and toss in the chopped zucchini. Replace the slow cooker lid. Cook rice according to package directions. (We like the 90 second pouches you can get anywhere) Zucchini will be tender by the time your rice is done.
  5. Ladle soup over cooked rice and pile whatever fresh ingredients you like into the bowl.

***Optional “extra effort” steps. After rubbing roast with garlic powder, salt, and pepper, lightly dust roast with all-purpose flour. Heat 1 T. canola oil in large frying pan. Sear pork roast on all sides until a brown crust has formed. After placing roast into slow cooker, deglaze the pan with ½ bottle of Mexican beer or ½ cup of your chicken broth. Scrape browned bits up with whisk or wooden spoon and let boil for a minute or two. Place the browned bits and reduced beer into crockpot. Proceed with recipe.

I suppose I should put some kind of disclaimer here, such as “If you deglaze your pan with ½ bottle of beer in the morning, please refrain from consuming remaining half before work”. Unless you work in a cubicle, like me, then we all know you probably need it. 😉

~JC

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