Carnitas Tacos (In the Slow Cooker!!!)

So I am always looking for recipes that I can prep ahead of time that are easy to toss in the slow cooker before heading to the airport.  Makes life easier on Joy on the boys and tends to keep me out of the dog house.  This one has become one of my favorites, especially on Taco Tuesdays.  Everything is easy to prep and I have found the flavor is even better if you let the meat marinate overnight (although that is not a requirement)  Enjoy!!

Slow Cooker Carnitas Tacos

Juicy pulled pork cooks in the slow cooker while you are away. Then once you get home, simply pan fry until crispy and top with your favorite fixings (can I recommend a Carrot Tortilla perhaps?).

 

Ingredients

For the carnitas:

  • 2-3 pound pork shoulder*
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • plenty of salt and pepper
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped (with seeds if you like it spicier)
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • juice and zest of one orange
  • 1 12 oz dark beer

For the tacos:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 tortillas
  • Toppings of your choice (chopped cilantro, chopped onion, sour cream, salsa, hot sauce, avocado, etc.)

 

Instructions

  1. Rinse and dry the pork shoulder.
  2. Mix together the cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  3. Rub pork with olive oil until coated, then rub the spice mixture all over the pork. If cooking immediately, place directly in slow cooker. If cooking in the morning, place in a ziplock bag and let marinate overnight (I recommend marinating personally)
  4. Mix together the onion, jalapeno, garlic, and orange zest (this can also be done the night before to make morning escapes even easier). Spread on top of the pork.
  5. Squeeze the orange juice on top of the pork and place the orange rinds in the slow cooker.
  6. Pour beer over the mixture until just covering the pork.
  7. Cook on low for 8-10 hours (you can also cook on high, just cut the time in half).
  8. When the pork is done cooking, take the meat out and shred.
  9. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and fry the pork until crispy.
  10. Meanwhile, toast tortillas (tradition says use corn but use what you prefer)
  11. Add pork to tortillas and top with fixings.
  12. Enjoy!!

Notes

*Depending on what part of the country you are in pork shoulder may be referred to as a Boston butt. Also, I have done this recipe with pork shoulder ribs before with great success (they were on special).  Just cut out the bones and follow the same directions above.  This recipe also freezes really well.  Just take the excess pork, cover it with the cooking juices before putting in the freezer.

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