The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Carnitas

4.95 Mitt(s) 20 Rating(s)20 votes, average: 4.95 out of 520 votes, average: 4.95 out of 520 votes, average: 4.95 out of 520 votes, average: 4.95 out of 520 votes, average: 4.95 out of 5

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Level: Easy

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Description

Let’s make taco night a special night. Bypass the gritty ground beef with the taco seasoning envelope and those stale taco shells that break when you bite into them, ultimately spilling taco juice all over your white shirt. Because that is usually how it works, doesn’t it?

The great thing about these tacos is that they can come together as easily as the other tacos with the use of a slow cooker.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds Boneless Pork Shoulder, Cut Into Cubes
  • ¾ cups Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
  • ½ whole Lime, Juiced
  • 7 cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin
  • ¼ cups Cilantro, Chopped
  • ¼ cups Chicken Or Beef Stock
  • 1 bottle (12 Oz. Bottle) Mexican Beer (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Preparation

In a slow cooker, combine all ingredients (except olive oil and beer) and stir. Arrange the pork so it sits as a single layer at the bottom of the pot. Set slow cooker to High for 4 hours or Low for 8 hours.

Once the pork is done, it should be tender enough that you can shred it with a spoon. Heat a stainless steel or aluminum pan with the olive oil. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork from the pot to the pan in batches. Fry the pork until brown and crispy, breaking it up as you fry it. Do not crowd the pan with pork for best results.

If you like, you can deglaze the pan with about 3 tablespoons of beer per batch and cook till evaporated.

Serve on tortillas garnished with chopped onions, avocado, fresh cilantro and lime wedge.

Notes:

I did not brown the pork before putting it into the slow cooker and I think I should have. I suggest seasoning the pork with the cumin and salt and browning it before putting it into the slow cooker. However, I have not tired it which is why I did not add this to the actual recipe.

If you don’t have a slow cooker you can do it stovetop by combining all ingredients in a Dutch oven or large heavy pot. Arrange the pork so it sits as a single layer at the bottom of the pot. Bring mixture to a boil and cover loosely. Allow meat to simmer until tender and liquid is evaporated, about 3 to 4 hours. If liquid evaporates and the pork in not yet fork-tender, add more liquid and continue to simmer. Spoon pork with rendered fat into a hot pan and continue with the recipe.

If you choose the slow cooker method, you will have some juices in the pot when the pork is done. Strain this juice and reserve with 3 cups of pork for Posole soup (recipe posted here).

16 Comments

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emingrace on 2.17.2012

this is one of my FAVORITE recipes! thank you for sharing! i get so many compliments on it when i bring the leftovers to work, and it’s even a great fancy mexican meal to do for company. love it!

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julip1882 on 10.5.2011

Yum! I’ve made these numerous time with total success! I did toss the cubed pork in cumin and ground oregano and then browned it before putting in the crockpot….then I deglazed the pan with 1/2 can of beer and added that to the crockpot too. Definitely a very tasty additional step. Highly recommend!

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amaddux on 3.10.2011

Outstanding, the Posole is simmering right now and it is delicious, I can’t stop tasting it. I just realized I made your Polo Sofrito before and they are outstanding as well. I look forward to using more of your recipe, they’re easy and delicious. I got my eye on the chorizo and hominy soup next.

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abiroo on 3.2.2011

These were the best!!! The flavor was wonderful. I cubed the pork and browned it and then put it in the crockpot. Over the top good and the next day, I fixed your recipe for P0sole. Thank you for sharing very much.

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afternoondelight on 8.29.2010

I made these except I could not find a pork shoulder at the store so I got a chuck roast. It was delicious with the beef ( I guess it wouldn’t be a carnita then..) I made in in a dutch oven in the the oven for 2.5 hours.

20 Reviews

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mrswombat on 11.9.2013

These are absolutely delicious! The pan frying definitely takes a little extra time but it’s absolutely worth it. Yum!

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haylee on 7.17.2012

These were GREAT! I will for sure be making these again and again….so easy and yummy. If pressed for time the frying step can be skipped b/c I thought they were yummy right out of the crock pot too. Thanks for sharing!

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ferguskim on 3.5.2012

The meat is very flavorful but seemed to dry out a little when pan fried.

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emingrace on 2.17.2012

Shoot – I put my review in the comment section. But this is delicious and I didn’t change a thing. It’s on my regular rotation now!

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Gigi Fernandez on 1.17.2012

I couldn’t get enough of these carnitas! They were fantastic as tacos and delicious in the Posole the next night.

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