Slow Cooked Pork Carnitas

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Pork Carnitas can be used as a base for all types of Mexican foods. I like to spoon it into corn tortillas and top with avocado, cotija cheese, freshly chopped cilantro, and a splash of lime juice. But if you want to go ahead and eat this right out of the slow cooker, I won’t blame you. 

I’m pretty sure that the best thing about pork carnitas (besides the citrus-meets-spicy flavor) is the crispness. The secret to the browned bits you get from pork carnitas is all in the final stage. You start with deliciously tender slow-cooked pork, then broil it under high heat for a few short, but imperative minutes. That’s how you get all those crispy pieces of meat without loosing the tenderness from your crock pot. I start by dry rubbing the pork with a traditional blend of oregano, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Then I add some sliced onion and pepper, a little garlic, and finish it off with a squeeze of lime and orange juice. The slow cooker does all the hard work for you, making the pork easy as can be to shred apart. 

Also, this recipe does make quite a bit.  Literally enough to feed quite a few people or two people for several days.  Not that I’m complaining, I’ve been eating this all week and haven’t been tired of it yet.  I promise you’ll love it too!

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You need this for your dinner. And your family will be fighting over the leftovers.

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Mix the dried oregano, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl. If you are using a different sized loaf, be sure and alter your measurements accordingly, especially the salt. Pat the pork shoulder dry with a paper towel and rub seasonings all over the roast. Place into the slow cooker.

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Add in your sliced onion, green pepper, and minced garlic. Pour the lime and orange juice (fresh is always best!) around the meat and veggies. That’s all the liquid you’ll add. The juices from the roast will provide enough of a liquid base.

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Cover and cook over low heat for 8 hours or high heat for 4-5. You want the roast nice and fork tender.

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Remove the pork from the slow cooker and shred using 2 forks.

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Place the shredded pork back into the slow cooker and stir to coat the meat with the juices. Heat for another 30 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the shredded pork onto a foil lined baking sheet (for easy clean up).

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Broil over high heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring at least once, until browned and crispy on the outside.

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Transfer meat to a large serving bowl and sprinkle with a bit more lime juice. Serve warm.

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If serving carnitas style, fill corn tortillas with the shredded pork, avocado, cotija cheese, cilantro, and a sprinkle of lime juice.

Slow Cooked Carnitas
The secret to getting all those browned bits of pork is slow cooking the meat down until it's fork tender, then broiling in the oven until crisp. Use a dry rub and top with squeezed lime and orange juice.
Servings Prep Time
4 pounds 10 minutes
Cook Time
4-5 hours
Servings Prep Time
4 pounds 10 minutes
Cook Time
4-5 hours
Slow Cooked Carnitas
The secret to getting all those browned bits of pork is slow cooking the meat down until it's fork tender, then broiling in the oven until crisp. Use a dry rub and top with squeezed lime and orange juice.
Servings Prep Time
4 pounds 10 minutes
Cook Time
4-5 hours
Servings Prep Time
4 pounds 10 minutes
Cook Time
4-5 hours
Ingredients
  • 4 pounds pork shoulder roast
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1 green pepper sliced
  • 2 tsp garlic minced
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • corn tortillas and toppings like cilantro, cotija cheese, and avocado
Instructions
  1. Mix oregano, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl. Pat pork dry and rub seasonings all over the roast. Place into slow cooker.
  2. Add in sliced onion, green pepper, and minced garlic.
  3. Pour the lime and orange juice around the meat and veggies.
  4. Slow cook, covered, over low heat for 8 hours or high heat for 4-5.
  5. Remove pork from the slow cooker and shred using 2 forks. Place back into the slow cooker and stir to coat the meat with the juices. Heat for another 30 minutes.
  6. Use a slotted spoon to transfer shredded pork onto a foil lined baking sheet. Broil over high heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring at least once, until browned and crispy on the outside.
  7. Fill corn tortillas with the shredded pork, avocado, cotija cheese, cilantro, and a sprinkle of lime juice.

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