This delicious, tender, slow cooked pork is a great foundation for tacos and burritos. In this recipe, I my slow cooker but retain the two cooking style approach that makes great carnitas: first braise in flavorful liquid, second dry roast to finish. The result is moist and tender, but with the dry roasted finish that prevents carnitas from getting greasy.
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 3 lbs boneless pork shoulder, cut into 4 large chunks
- 1 tbsp of ghee or sunflower oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 jalapeño, chopped
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 small orange, sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- In a small bowl, combine the cumin, coriander, paprika, salt, and cayenne and rub this spice blend all over the pork.
- In a large saute pan (or in your slow cooker, if it has a brown/saute setting), melt the ghee (or heat the oil). Brown the pork for 3-5 minutes per side.
- Remove the pork and add the onions, garlic, and jalapeño and saute until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes more.
- Place the onion, garlic, jalapeño mixture in your slow cooker, add the chicken broth, orange, and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Then add the pork.
- Cook on low for 6 hours.
- Drain the liquid. Using two forks, pull the pork apart, add salt and fresh ground pepper, and cook for an additional 1.5 hours on low.
- To serve, place on fresh made corn tortillas with some lime, cilantro, and homemade guacamole.
How to Not Screw It Up
- The most important step to get this carnitas right is to brown it before you slow cook it. Don’t brown the single pork shoulder: cut it into quarters or sixths. You want the maximum amount of surface area to brown. Otherwise, you will end up with carnitas that has a mushy, greasy texture, and that’s just disappointing.