Crockpot Carnitas

What could be better than melt-in-your-mouth pork carnitas when you’re stuck inside during a blizzard?

I’ve made this dish a few times, and not only is it simple to make, it’s very versatile. The pork can be used in tacos and burritos, as a pizza topping, as a pulled pork sandwich, or served with eggs — for starters.

Ingredients for the pork:

  • 4-5 lb. pork shoulder (bone in)
  • 1 – 1½ tbsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. cumin
  • 8-10 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chopped fresh cilantro (set 1 c. aside for the salsa)
  • ½ cup pork stock (beef or chicken can substitute)
  • 1½ cups freshly squeezed orange juice
  • juice from 1 lemon

Start out by prepping all the ingredients. Measure the salt and cumin, combine and set aside.

Peel and mince the garlic.

Wash and chop the cilantro leaves.

Juice the citrus.

Now for the pork.

Remove the meat from the bone and cut in to 1 to 2 inch cubes. Put the bone in the crockpot.

The pork cubes need to be browned, in batches, before going in to the crockpot. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pot or frying pan. Add one layer of pork cubes to the pan and sprinkle some of the cumin salt mixture over it.

After a few minutes, turn the cubes over, sprinkle some cumin mix on and brown the other side for a few minutes. Transfer the browned cubes to the crockpot. Repeat this until all the cubes have been browned.

Add the rest of the cumin mix, the minced garlic and chopped cilantro to the crockpot. Pour the citrus and the pork stock over the top.

Mix it all up. Cover the crockpot, turn it on high, and set a timer for 4 hours.

Now go for a walk in the blizzard.

When you return from your three hour walk, your house should be smelling yummy. That can mean only one thing: it’s time to make the salsa!

Ingredients for the salsa:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • ½ to 1 cup chopped cilantro (chopped when prepping the pork)
  • 1 lime
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil

You will also need:

  • flour tortillas
  • shredded cheese (cheddar, manchego, quesr fresco or monterry jack)
  • hot sauce – optional

Peel the avocado and slice it in to quarter inch cubes, place in mixing bowl. Slice the tomato in quarter inch cubes as well — add it to the bowl. Add the chopped cilantro, cut the lime in half and squeeze both halves in to the bowl.

Add a pinch of salt, drizzle about 1 tbsp. of olive oil over the top and stir it up. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator until the pork is ready.

When the timer goes off, remove the pork cubes from the crockpot with a slotted spoon and place them in a bowl, leaving all the juice in the crock pot. Heat a frying pan on medium high. When it is hot, add some of the pork and fry it until it starts to brown — breaking up the cubes as you stir. Add ½ to ¼ cup of the juice from the crockpot, stir until liquid isn’t visible and remove from heat.

Warm up the tortillas in the microwave for about 15-30 seconds until they are warm enough to bend without breaking. Put some of the pork from the frying pan on a tortilla, then add some cheese (I used cheddar for lack of anything better, but pepper jack, manchego or queso fresco can also be used). Add a couple spoonfuls of the salsa and hot sauce if you desire. Fold the tortilla over, or roll it up like a burrito and enjoy.

~ by peeancefreeance on February 14, 2010.

14 Responses to “Crockpot Carnitas”

  1. that was an awsome journey..thanks for sharing buddy

  2. Beautiful prep pictures w/ great commentary!! Love it! Snow days bring out the best in you!!<3

  3. The only advise I have for this is to use uncooked tortillas, Thanks for the recipe I’ll be trying this out today.

  4. I don’t understand what the point of browning the meat is.
    It’s already cooked from being in the crock pot and tastes fine.
    So why put it on the frying pan after it’s been cooking all day?

    • You are correct, the meat is already both completely cooked and tastes good. Breaking up the meat and frying it until it’s brown does a few things: 1) Removes excess liquid from the meat so it doesn’t make your tortilla soggy. 2) Browns and crisps some of the meat which adds texture and flavor. 3) It is a good way to heat up the leftovers.

      That being said, there isn’t any reason you can’t use the pork straight from the crockpot.

  5. Yumz! What time is supper?

  6. May I suggest adding some good green chili to the salsa. Preferably chili grown in Southern New Mexico!

  7. You certainly may suggest green chili! Sounds yummy :)

  8. This looks delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I’m going to attempt this tomorrow.

  9. All right, I just finished chowing on some Crockpot Carnitas and it was very satisfying. However, next time I make this I’m going to scale back the salt and cumin to 1.5tbsp each. Thanks again for the recipe!

  10. […] started with this recipe for Crockpot Carnitas. The slow-cooked pork has a lively southwestern flavor and it can be used in […]

  11. Very tasty!! great recipe

  12. making this tonight! i made a few substitutions, (as i couldn’t make it to the store today,) but my house still smells like heaven. i am excited to eat!!! :)

    thanks for sharing this recipe! i love that it is a 4 hour crock pot recipe instead of 6… makes it a bit easier! :)

  13. Very well done. I have pork shoulder in the freezer and this is exactly what I’m going to make.

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