“Carnitas” , directly translated from Spanish, means “little meats.” Carnitas is a Mexican pork dish that features shredded pork cooked a long time until the meat is very tender. The meat is cooked in a sauce with classical Mexican seasonings and citrusy juices.
Often, cuts of pork like pork shoulder and pork butt are chosen for carnitas because the tough meat is inexpensive, fatty, and cooks to “fall apart tender” so it is easily shredded. After the meat is slow cooked to tenderness, it is broiled or baked to lightly brown the meat and provide a crispy texture.
Slow Cooker Carnitas
- Paper Towels
- Slow Cooker
- Baking Sheet
- Aluminum foil
- Baking Pan
Ingredients for the Meat
- 3to 5 lbs pork butt or pork shoulder
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 3 tsp dried oregano
- 3 tsp dried cumin
- 3 tsp minced garlic
- ½ cup orange juice
- ¼ cup lime juice
Carnitas Toppings Ingredients
- 2 cups shredded cheese
- 1 cup rice
- 1 package tortilla wraps
- 1 to 2 tomatoes chopped
- 1 to 2 bell peppers diced
- Pickled jalapeno peppers
- A few sprigs of cilantro, chopped
- Remove the pork from its wrappings and rinse it lightly in the sink. Pat it dry with paper towels and place it in your slow cooker. Add the salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, minced garlic, orange juice and lime juice to the slow cooker as well.
- Turn the slow cooker on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 6 hours. Put the lid on the slow cooker and let it cook.
- When the time is up, the meat should easily shred when you poke two forks into it. Turn your oven on to preheat to 400 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and shred the meat, placing it on the baking sheet in a single layer. Use a ladle to remove about a cup of the cooking liquid from the slow cooker and drizzle this over the meat on the baking pan.
- Put the baking sheet into the oven and let it bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the meat begins to brown and get crispy around the edges.
- As the meat is cooking, bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the one cup of rice and turn the stove down to low. Put a tightly fitting lid on the pot, and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Take the rice off the heat.
- Take the meat from the oven and use tongs to put it on the tortillas. Top the meat with cheese, peppers, tomatoes, rice, jalapenos, and cilantro.
- Fold the tortilla in half and enjoy!