Incredibly tender and smoky Mexican slow cooker pork carnitas are super easy to make and full of flavor. The meat is so juicy on the inside and perfectly crisp on the outside with two ways to achieve the perfect golden finish.
4-5 lb pork shoulder/butt
1 lime, juiced
2 oranges, juiced (about ¾ cup)
1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional, but recommended)
1 small white onion
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon oregano
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon chipotle powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
In a small bowl, whisk together all rub ingredients.
Pat pork dry and rub all over with rub mixture.
Place pork in slow cooker, and top with reaming ingredients: lime juice, orange juice, liquid smoke, onion, jalapeno, and garlic. Cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 8-10 hours.
When the pork is fall off the bone tender, remove from slow cooker (do NOT discard juices in slow cooker) and let cool enough to handle. Discard fat and shred the meat using two forks.
To crisp the meat, heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Place a thick layer of pork in the pan and drizzle with some of the juices from the slow cooker. Cook until slightly crispy then remove from the pan. You don’t really need to crisp both sides otherwise the pork will become dry. Repeat with the rest of the pork. Alternatively, you can spread pork out on a large non-stick (or foil-lined) sheet pan, drizzle with juices, and broil on low (middle rack) for 5-10 minutes until slightly crispy on top.
Before serving, drizzle with a little more juice.
Serve warm in tortillas, with rice, on salad, etc. The options are endless!
Make Ahead: To make the pork ahead of the time, cook 1-3 days prior. Separate pork from juices, and shred pork. Store pork and juices in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator. Once you’re ready to reheat the pork, warm up the juices in the microwave or on stove, and then reheat using the crisping directions above. You may need to toss or flip the pork to heat through fully.
Freeze: Shredded pork freezes well. Pour juices over pork, and freeze in airtight Ziploc bags or containers. Once you’re ready to eat the pork, thaw completely and reheat using the crisping directions above. Again, you may need to toss or flip the pork to heat through fully.
CoursesDinner / Lunch
Recipe by Modern Farmhouse Eats at https://www.modernfarmhouseeats.com/mexican-slow-cooker-smoky-pork-carnitas/