My family loves pulled pork, this Carnitas recipe is always a hit in our household. It combines the perfect amount of heat with a just a hint of sweet. Scoop it into tacos with all your favourite toppings. Taco night has never been easier.
This recipe is SO good. It’s packed with flavour and easy to make. You cook these in the slow cooker so it’s very low maintenance. Set it and forget it. Those recipes are always the best.
I made this back in 2014 so excuse the photos. The pictures are a bit on the old side. This was part of a collaboration for a cookbook for charity put together by bloggers.
Lots of emails roll in from people who want the recipe but can’t afford or access the cookbook. I’ve decided to post the recipe on the blog for those people.
That said, I still highly encourage people to buy the cookbook if you can. It’s a great cookbook full of amazing recipes from some of the best bloggers around.
You can find the original post with the information about the charity event on my blog post titles “Cookbook Launch for Charity“. It lists tons of other bloggers who were involved in this cookbook.
If you want to order the cookbook you can order it on Amazon. It’s called Where Slow Food and Whole Food Meet. There is a Kindle Version, which is the one I have. Or you can buy it in Paperback Version.
Tools used for this project:
Places to stalk Cravings of a Lunatic!
- 3.5 pounds pork shoulder (also known as pork butt, or blade roast)
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ancho chile pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried cilantro
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 8 ounces of Coke (use water if watching your sugar consumption)
- 8 ounces of water
- 2 oranges, halved
- 2 limes, halved
- 3 garlic cloves
- Taco Toppings:
- 1 packages of corn, or flour, tortillas
- 1 to 2 tomatoes, cut into small chunks
- ½ red onion, diced
- ½ bunch of green onions, diced
- Avocado, sliced thinly
- Fresh cilantro, to taste
- Remove pork shoulder from fridge. Set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl combine the brown sugar, ancho chile pepper, smoked paprika, coarse salt, white pepper, dried cilantro, cumin, coriander, and red pepper flakes. Mix well so all the spices combine thoroughly. Carefully rub the entire pork shoulder with the spice rub, making sure to coat all the sides.
- Place the pork shoulder in you slow cooker.
- Pour the Coke and water around the side of the roast, but not over top of it.
- Cut the oranges in half, squeeze the juice out over the roast. Place the pieces inside the slow cooker.
- Cut the limes in half, squeeze the juice out over the roast. Place the pieces inside the slow cooker.
- Place the garlic cloves in the liquid as well.
- Cover and cook for 9 to 10 hours, you want the meat to be moist, and to pull apart easily.
- Transfer the meat to a cutting board and pull it apart with two forks.
- Place the meat in a large frying pan with a touch of olive oil. Cook over medium-high heat for about 3 to 5 minutes. I find adding just a touch of brown sugar helps to caramelize quickly. The key to great carnitas is having the meat be moist, but the edges crispy. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl.
- To make Tacos:
- Cut up all the toppings ahead of time, with the exception of the avocado. Do that at the last minute so it does not brown before serving.
- Heat the tortillas by placing them in a frying pan, one at a time, flipping so you warm each side. Alternately you can warm them in the microwave all at once for about 30 to 45 seconds.
- Top each tortilla with meat and toppings of your choice.
- Serve with a big old sweet and spicy smile!
You do not have to heat the meat in a pan, but personally I think Carnitas need that crispy edge. It’s worth the few minutes it takes to do it.
You can also use the meat for making sandwiches. Personally for Carnitas we like making tacos with them.
If you want to cut the sugar content of this recipe omit the Coke and use water, or vegetable broth. We enjoy the sweetness from it; it’s a nice counter balance to the spice and acid from the citrus.
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