Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
The amazing combination of spices and citrus make these slow cooker pork carnitas an absolute must try recipe!
Such a classic Mexican meal… made easy in the slow cooker! Easy to make, full of delicious citrus flavors, and perfect for burritos, tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas… just about anything!
If you’ve been a reader of The Chunky Chef since I started this little blog, you probably remember these carnitas. In case some of you missed them though… I’m re-sharing the recipe! Especially since it’s officially slow cooker season 😉
Without further adieu… here’s the original post, with a few updated photos
Brought to you by your slow cooker, these pork carnitas are a breeze to make, and oh. em. gee… the flavor is so GOOD!!
Admittedly, I had never had pork carnitas before making these… you know me and pork… we have a tenuous history lol. But I tried the carnitas from Chipotle a few weeks ago, and wow, these blow theirs out of the water! If you’re at all on the fence about trying these, allow me to nudge you a little bit 🙂
All you do is rub your pork with the spices, squeeze the citrus juice over the pork and toss the citrus in with the meat. Cover and cook for a longgggg time… I did about 12 hours. Try not to drool all over yourself from smelling the deliciousness all day long. Good luck… I think I was hungry the whole day lol. When you shred your pork, it will literally fall off the bone. Spread the pork out on a baking sheet and broil for a few minutes to get that crispy, caramelized flavor. You could omit this step if you want, but it really takes these carnitas over the top!
I was feeling ambitious that day and I decided to make my own homemade flour tortillas 🙂 It really wasn’t even all that ambitious, they were a lot easier than I thought they’d be! Just mix up the dough, separate into balls, let rest for a few minutes, roll them out, cook in a pan for a minute…. and done 🙂 The hardest part I found was rolling the balls into circles… I have an inability to roll dough into a circle. So. Frustrating. The OCD and perfectionist part of me (which, let’s face it, is a big part), really wants that perfect circle… and. I. just. can’t. get. it! So alas, my rustic homemade flour tortillas have a little character 🙂
Pssst… I call them rustic… that’s my way of making it okay that they’re not round lol.
You might be thinking, “why go through that effort when they sell flour tortillas for cheap at the grocery store“. I know I was always thinking that! And of course you could totally use store bought tortillas, your pork will still taste just as amazing 🙂 But the flavor of these homemade tortillas is really sooooo much better than store bought. I think they’re worth a try!
^^^ see those shapes? Grrrrrrr.
Now you need some deliciousness to put on those tortillas! For my carnitas I chose to top them simply, with fresh cilantro, red onion slices, diced avocado, a drizzle of sour cream, and a squirt of lime juice. Bright and fresh and insanely addicting!
Make these for your family and you’ll be a rockstar!
Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
- 4-6 lbs pork shoulder slightly trimmed of excess fat
- 1 tbsp garlic salt
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 2 oranges sliced half
- 1 lime sliced half
- Combine garlic salt, chili powder, dried oregano, dried basil, cumin, ground coriander, brown sugar, and sweet paprika.
- Rub the spice mixture evenly over the pork. Place pork in the bottom of a slow cooker (minimum of 6 quarts)*
- Squeeze the juice from the oranges and limes over the pork. Place rinds pulp side down in slow cooker over the meat.
- Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours, or until pork is tender and falling off the bone. Use a fork to pull away from bone and discard it.
- Preheat oven broiler. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and arrange pork in a single layer. Place underneath broiler until tips of pork are browned and slightly crisp, about 3-5 minutes. (Don’t walk away from it. Keep an eye on meat to make sure it doesn’t burn or become overly browned).
- Serve finished pork in corn/flour tortillas, or over rice.
Homemade Flour Tortilas
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- cup ⅓ vegetable oil one third
- 1 cup warm water
- Combine flour, salt and baking powder in the bowl of a stand mixer. With the dough hook attached mix dry ingredients until well combined. Add oil and water with mixer running at a medium speed. Mix for 1 minute, stopping several times to scrape the sides of the bowl. After about 1 minute, or when mixture comes together and begins to form a ball, decrease mixing speed to low. Continue to mix for 1 minute or until dough is smooth.
- Transfer from mixing bowl to a well-floured work surface. Divide dough in half, then in half again. Continue until you have 16 fairly equal portions. Form each piece into a ball and flatten with the palm of your hand as much as possible. If dough is sticky, use a bit more flour. Cover flattened balls of dough with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rest for 15 minutes before proceeding.
- After rest period, heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Roll each dough piece into a rough circle, about 6-7 inches in diameter, keep work surface and rolling pin lightly floured. Don’t stack uncooked tortillas on top of each other or they will get soggy.
- When pan is very hot, place one dough circle into pan and allow to cook about 1 minute or until bottom surface has a few pale brown spots. The uncooked surface will begin to show a few little bubbles. If tortilla is browning too fast, reduced heat a bit. If it’s taking longer than a minute to see a few pale golden brown spots on underside of tortillas, increase heat a bit. Flip to other side and cook for about 30 seconds. You want the tortilla to be soft but have a few small pale golden brown spots on surface. Remove from pan with tongs and stack in a covered container or zippered bag till all tortillas are cooked. This will keep them soft and pliable.
- Wipe out the pan in between tortillas if flour is starting to accumulate.
- Serve warm or allow to cool for later use. When ready to use, place a slightly damp paper towel in the bottom of a container (with a cover) that will hold the stacked tortillas. Microwave, uncovered for 15-25 seconds (start with 15) or until warm, then cover to hold heat while serving.
- The tortillas will keep well stored in an airtight container or zippered bag at at room temperature for 24 hours or can be frozen indefinitely. To freeze, separate tortillas with parchment paper or waxed paper and place in a ziploc bag before placing in freezer.