Crock Pot Pork Carnitas

It was round two.

Me vs. Pork Carnitas.

Crock Pot Pork Carnitas

Thus far I’ve failed in the carnita making department. BUT I never give up, because one day… I just stumbled across a recipe that made complete sense. It was destiny and as a bonus these pork carnitas are made in a slow cooker.

These are far from traditional carnitas… but in this day in age, unless you’re in a kitchen in Mexico, standing over a copper pot with someone who’s been turning out carnitas since they could hold a spoon… then how could carnitas be called authentic? But what I can call it is amazing.  This recipe makes a boat load and you’ll be eating carnitas for DAYS!

Let’s review.

rinse and dry

Rinse and pat-dry a 4 pound pork shoulder roast. This is a shoulder blade… or something. But as long as it’s from the shoulder region of a pig, you’re golden.

s & p

Season it heavily with kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper then scoot it off to the side for un momento por favor. Whoop… would you look at me… pulling out those high school years of Spanish classes!!

3 tbs olive oil

Then in a small bowl add three tablespoons of olive oil.

oregano

Add in two teaspoons of dried oregano…

tsp cumin

…And one teaspoon cumin.

stir

Give it a good ol’ stir…

pour

And then pour it all over that shoulder.

rub

Rub your hands all over that piece of pork, massaging it into the meat. Hands… natures best tools, I couldn’t blog without ‘em!

onions, jalapeno and garlic

Next roughly chop up an onion, jalapeno and 5 cloves of garlic.

add veg to crockpot

Place the pork into the slow cooker and add in those chopped goodies.

squeeze

Slice and orange in half and squeeze both halves all over the pork.

orange halves in

Throw those empty orange halves in as well.

cover and cook

Cover and let it do its thang. That’ll be 8-10 hours on low or 6 hours on high.

cooked

Done-zo.

heat lard

Heat a large 12 inch skillet on medium-high heat with 4 tablespoons of lard in it.

shred

Meanwhile, remove the pork and shred it with two forks. Remove any extra fatty pieces as you come along them. Unless you like that sort of thing.

add shredded pork to lard

Once the lard is all hot and ready to go, work in batches by dropping the pork in a single layer and letting a deep golden crust form.

crispy bits of pork

Scrape up the pork {don’t worry if it shreds even more} and continue to brown more of the pork. Remove to a paper towel line plate and cover with foil to keep warm before moving on to the next batch. Feel free to add a little bit of the cooking liquids {strained to catch the onions/jalapenos and any fatty pieces} to the pork after frying for more flavor-flave.

Crock Pot Carnitas

It’s nearly impossible to NOT snack as you go. My girls where all up in my face trying to steal more pieces. I did season the pork with a tad bit of salt afterwards… but you taste and see how you like it!

I can’t wait to show you what I made with these pork carnitas.

Til next time…

Crock Pot Pork Carnitas

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Crock Pot Pork Carnitas

Pork is slowly cooked all day in a slow cooker before crispy in a little bit of lard. Use carnitas for tacos, burritos or stuff it in your face as is. So unbelievable good!

Yield: 8+ servings

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 6 to 10 hours depending

Total Time: 6-10-1/2 hours

Ingredients:

4 pounds Pork Shoulder Roast {I used shoulder blade}

Kosher Salt and Black Pepper

3 tablespoons Olive Oil

2 teaspoons Dried Oregano

1 teaspoon Cumin

1 whole Orange

1 White Onion, roughly chopped

1 whole Jalapeno, seeded, ribs discarded and roughly chopped

5 cloves Fresh Garlic, smashed, peeled and minced

4 tablespoons Lard

Adapted from Melissa D'Arabians Pork Carnita Recipe.
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/melissa-darabian/pork-carnitas-recipe/index.html

Directions:

Generously season a 4 pound pork shoulder with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl combine the olive oil with the cumin and oregano. Rub the oil mixture all over the pork shoulder and pop it into your slow cooker. To that, add the chopped onion, jalapeno, garlic and squeeze in the juice of the orange. Add the orange halves into the slow cooker as well.

Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8-10.

Remove the pork shoulder and shred in a large bowl with two forks.

Heat up a large skillet with 4 tablespoons of lard. Once hot, work in batches, browning the shredded pork. Remove to a paper towel-line plate.

Feel free to drizzle some of the {strained} juices from the crock pot over the pork for a little more moisture. Season with a little salt if desired and enjoy!

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38 Responses to “Crock Pot Pork Carnitas”

  1. #
    1
    Tieghan Gerard — April 18, 2013 at 9:38 am

    To funny! I am taking photos are carnitas today!! Mine is different than yours, but OMG I cant believe you crisped them up in lard!! that is genius! Genius!

  2. #
    2
    Meagan @ A Zesty Bite — April 18, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Well done on this recipe it looks moist and delicious!

  3. #
    3
    Cassie | Bake Your Day — April 18, 2013 at 10:31 am

    We love pork carnitas! I always brown mine under the broiler, love the stovetop idea!

  4. #
    4
    Steph (Poupette in the Kitchen) — April 18, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Laurie this looks absolutely delicious :D
    That’s it, you’ve pushed me over the edge: I’m getting a crockpot! May I ask you what brand you have? And what capacity?
    Hope your day is as beautiful as it is here!

  5. #
    5
    Kathy — April 18, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Wow! This sounds wonderful! We love Mexican in our house!

  6. #
    6
    Samantha H. — April 18, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    That looks amazing and inexpensive to make. I don’t know about the lard though, haven’t used it in years. It doesn’t bother me a bit that we will be eating carnitas for days, I wonder if you can freeze some of it.

  7. #
    7
    Maria @ Orchard Bloom — April 18, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    This looks incredible! The orange sounds like a delicious touch.

  8. #
    8
    Julie @ Table for Two — April 18, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    yum!! i love making pork in the slow cooker – it makes so much and it also keeps it so tender and juicy! yours looks amazing! i love carnitas!!

  9. #
    9
    Heather || Heather's Dish — April 19, 2013 at 9:22 am

    OK first of all, WANT THESE NOW. Second, I JUST realized that when I changed my reader options it didn’t copy your blog link!!!! SAD! I have a lot of catching up to do now :)

  10. #
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    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts — April 19, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Love all that juicy pork goodness – I don’t need anything else, just the plate of pork!

  11. #
    11
    Jackie @ The Beeroness — April 19, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    That looks glorious! The one time I failed at carnitas I used a pork loin roast instead of the shoulder because it was what I had and it was just not good. Not nearly as much fat as we need for some tasty tacos.

  12. #
    12
    dishing up the dirt — April 19, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Simply mouthwatering!

  13. #
    13
    Mr. & Mrs. P — April 19, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    This pork looks so flavorful!!! Love all the spices and seasonings you added… Beautiful!

  14. #
    14
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — April 19, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Sooo mouthwatering, Laurie! I would love this in a sandwich, tortilla or on top of rice… and maybe I’d let my hubby have some too. :)

  15. #
    15
    Daisy Ray @ flowers, fruit and fun — April 20, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    This would be great to triple or double the batch, and save it in the freezer! Would that work? Hmmm…

  16. #
    16
    Shaun — April 20, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Making this right now, another 2 hours to go in the crock. The living room and kitchen smell great. Mostly a garlic scent with a hint of citrus. I know taking the lid off before it’s done is wrong but I had to taste it. So good.
    I wish my daughters weren’t with their mother for the weekend, they’d love this.

  17. #
    17
    Michelle Ritchie | Delicious Karma — April 20, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    WOW…looks amazing! What a cozy, delicious meal this makes! Will definitely have to make it. Pinned it onto our meat Pinterest Board: http://pinterest.com/deliciouskarma/marvelous-meat

  18. #
    18
    H3L3N In Houston — May 17, 2013 at 1:06 am

    Love Carnitas!!! It was fall-off-the-bone tender and well seasoned. I’m cooking for two now, so I used pork shoulder steaks instead of a large roast. The orange must have been super sweet and made the meat too sweet for me. The next time, I’ll use lemon juice to eliminate the sweet taste. Otherwise, this is the best recipe I’ve tried. Thanks for sharing, Laurie.

  19. #
    19
    wfu4612 — May 21, 2013 at 11:50 am

    I’ve tried several carnitas recipes and this is by far the yummiest. I didn’t do the frying in lard step and they were still amazing. At the end of cooking, I recommend tossing the pork into your Kitchen Aid mixer with the paddle attachment, and running it on the first notch for about 30 seconds. This shreds the meat perfectly, every time! Be sure to toss the meat back into the liquid for about 30 more minutes so the shreds can absorb the yummy goodness of the liquid. Thanks, Laurie!

  20. #
    20
    See More — May 30, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    We’re several grouped volunteers plus starting off a whole new system in your area. Your website offered us together with helpful information to function about. You could have executed the formidable job and your full neighborhood could be grateful to you personally.

  21. #
    21
    Michelle — July 23, 2013 at 4:47 am

    Is it ok to leave out the citrus? Everytime I add citrus to meat my family and I end up hating it and I’ve ruined a giant chunk of meat. I want to throw this in today but wanted to make sure

    • simplyscratch replied: — July 23rd, 2013 @ 1:18 pm

      I say go for it!

  22. #
    22
    Jill Ramos — August 5, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    Made these tonight for dinner…they were amazing! Barely had to shred the meat, it just fell apart when I took it out of the crockpot….it was so tender!

  23. #
    23
    Emily — August 18, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    I’m going to make this overnight in the crock pot, and then take it with us to a cabin for dinner the following night. Do you think I should leave the meat in its juices all day, or drain it completely?

    • simplyscratch replied: — August 20th, 2013 @ 11:03 am

      Hi Emily… I would save the juices for sure! Maybe when the fat congeals, just scrape that off before reheating :)

  24. #
    24
    Mike the Cook in Houston — August 22, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Nice recipe and nice photos. I just made one modification, I grilled the seasoned meat 15 minutes on each side, adding wet Mesquite wood chips, for a smoky flavor before I put everything in the crock pot. Just to addan extra layer of character to it.

    Crock pots are great! I even make apple or peach cobbler in mine. Do a search, the recipe is readily available on the i’net.

  25. #
    25
    The Spice Diva — September 20, 2013 at 8:08 am

    We loved the recipe. After reading a bunch of recipes, I decided to throw in a cup of tequila as a part of the liquid. It was so brown around the edges that I didn’t even think it needed the further fat and frying. I’m making it Sunday for our Mexican food-deprived son from Kauai.

  26. #
    26
    Tonya Chalfant — December 11, 2013 at 8:10 am

    Do you think I could substitute pork loin for the pork shoulder? Happen to have a pork loin in the freezer. Thx

    • simplyscratch replied: — December 11th, 2013 @ 8:32 am

      Hi Tonya! Great question, but I personally wouldn’t substitute. Pork loin is very lean while the pork shoulder has more fat-marbling and you might be sacrificing a whole lotta flavor. I would hate you for you to go through all this work and not be happy. But I do have a pork loin roast recipe on here that you could take a look at :)

  27. #
    27
    Monique — March 28, 2014 at 11:55 am

    Hi, I’m making this today but want to know… Do l add any liquid to the crockpot before cooking?

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — March 28th, 2014 @ 11:57 am

      Just the juice from the oranges :)

  28. #
    28
    Glenda — May 3, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    If some hesitate about using citrus in the recipe, substitute a tablespoon or 2 or 3 of apple cider vinegar. Works great!

  29. #
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    sara — December 11, 2014 at 10:35 am

    I am new on the blogging scene. I just wanted to tell you that this is my favorite crock pot recipe and I’ve been making it long before I started blogging. The pictures are gorgeous and the pork is amazing!! Well done!

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