Pork Carnitas

The moment we decided to serve Navajo tacos at our Friendsgiving, I knew we had to use my favorite slow cooker pork carnitas recipe for the meat.  It is one of those go-to recipes that’s super easy, flavorful, and makes a ton!  It only took me about 5 minutes to throw the ingredients in the crock pot, freeing up the rest of the day to party prep!  Slow cookers are great to use when transporting your food for pop up parties because you can keep the food nice and warm.  Bonus!


•   5 lb pork butt, skinless, bone-in (4lb without bone)

•   1 onion, chopped

•   1 jalapeno, deseeded, chopped

•   2½ tsp salt

•   1 tsp black pepper

•   4 cloves garlic, minced

•   2 oranges, juice only (or sub with ¾ cup fresh orange juice)


•   1 Tbsp dried oregano

•   2 tsp ground cumin

•   1 Tbsp olive oil


•   Rinse and dry the pork shoulder, rub in salt and pepper.

•   Combine the rub ingredients then rub all over the pork.

•   Place the pork in a slow cooker with fat cap up. Top with the onion, jalapeño, minced garlic and squeeze over the juice of the orange.

•   Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 6 hours (or 1 ½ hours in a pressure cooker on high).

•   The meat should be tender and falling off the bone. Remove from the slow cooker and let cool slightly. Then shred the pork using two forks.

•   Skim off the fat from the juices remaining in the slow cooker and discard the fat. Then, if you are left with a lot more than 1½ to 2 cups of juice, reduce it (either in the slow cooker on the sauté setting with the lid off, or in a saucepan). The liquid will be salty, it is the seasoning for the pork. Set aside.

To Serve

•   Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a large non stick pan over high heat. Place shredded pork into the pan and press down and cook until the bottom side is golden brown and crusty.  You might have to do this in a couple of batches.

•   Drizzle juices over the pork and serve immediately**

**If you aren’t able to serve immediately (like in our case), you can put the pork back in the crock pot after browning it, and pour about a cup of juice over it.  Keep it on warm until you are ready to go.  Wrap it in a big towel to keep your crock pot nice and toasty, or put it in this handy dandy insulated carrier (which we just discovered!).  The meat should stay warm for up to 2 hours. 

We hope you enjoy it as much as our guests did!  Everyone was raving about it and couldn’t help but get seconds; always a sign of a successful meal.