Slow-cooked carnitas are an inexpensive, easy, and super versatile meal to make on a weeknight. Place them in warm corn tortillas with queso blanco and a dash of freshly squeeze lime juice to make quick tacos, or grab bbq sauce (Sweet Baby Rays all the way!) and hoagie rolls for a tender bbq sandwich, or even save them for breakfast to cook with potatoes, onions, and eggs for a delicious scramble. And if you have any leftovers after that (say what?!), place them in a freezer-safe ziplock bag for up to three months!
This recipe calls for a pork shoulder, onions, garlic, freshly squeeze oranges, and seasoning. I let ours cook for about 8 1/2 hours until it was unbelievably-tender-falling-off-the-bone-eat-with-a-fork-at-the-counter ready, then seared it in hot olive oil on one side to create a nice crust. (Note: this last step is completely optional; I’ve made it both ways and just decided that we liked a little extra bite with our carnitas, so it’s totally up to you.) Our favorite way is to eat these as tacos, and then serve the next day with a potato hash and fried egg!
- 3 1/2 lb pork shoulder
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp coarse sea salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced (optional)
- 2 oranges, juiced
- olive oil for searing
- Wash and pat dry pork shoulder. In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, coriander, and brown sugar. Rub olive oil on the pork then rub the spice mixture on all sides, and place in slow cooker. Top with onions, garlic, and jalapeño, and then pour orange juice over.
- Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours. When tender, remove from slow cooker and chop into smaller pieces. Heat olive oil on medium-high heat in a frying pan, and then add carnitas. Allow to fry until a nice crust has formed on one side, and then remove from heat.
- Serve in warmed corn tortillas, and top with cilantro, monterrey jack cheese, and a freshly squeezed lime.