The first time we used our solar cooker, my daughter used this recipe from http://www.nimanranch.com/control/main/. They are a series of farms here in California that sustainably and humanely raise livestock. I understand that the fast food restaurant, Chipotle uses Niman ranch pork. I am fond of Chipotle carnitas burritos and think this is a good imitation with some minor changes. Pulled Ranchero BBQ Niman Ranch Pork
Awhahnee Dining Room
3 lbs Niman Ranch Pork Shoulder, boneless
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp California Chili powder
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch ground clove
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp Kosher salt or sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
Put your solar cooker in the sun to warm up. For sanitary purposes, this is an unnecessary step. However, it does situate the cooker where you’ll want it to be so that you don’t have to move it much.
Cut your roast into ¼ or ½ pound chunks.
Combine all spice rub ingredients and mix thoroughly by hand. Generously rub the pork shoulder with spice mixture.
Place in a dark enamelware roasting pan with 1/4 c water and place the lid on. The roast will produce some steam (which will inhibit the sun from penetrating the glass). To limit that, you can use large binder clips to hold the lid on tighter.
Cook for 4 to 6 hours.
Remove pork from oven and with two forks, pull the meat apart. It should fall apart or pull apart easily. It is a good idea to use a meat thermometer when cooking meat with any type of slowcooker. Ours was 175’ F and safe to eat. It looked just like it would if you used a conventional oven.
We made burritos with lettuce, cheese, beans, rice, and salsa. It was savory!
Chef’s note: my daughter didn’t like the sweetness of the meat. So, I did adapt this recipe here, reducing the “Eastern” spices and omitting the brown sugar. I think if we made BBQ sauce like in Niman Ranch’s recipe, the spices would have been appropriate. I thought it was delicious, myself!