We love Mexican food in our house. I am positive we could eat it breakfast, lunch, and dinner (because we have). And it’s probably one of the biggest things we miss from living in Phoenix. So, of course, we’ve had to get our fix somehow – and I like Mississippi and all, but I’ve yet to find a praiseworthy taco. That’s why I started making slow cooker carnitas.
One of Mr. O’s taco favs was always carnitas – which just means little bits of pork. So it was imperative that this delicious shredded pork was one of the first dishes I had to recreate.
Every restaurant in Arizona would have their own take on carnitas, each with small differences in flavor. It’s kind of like the South, each family has their own recipe for fried chicken. But after a little soul searching (meaning lots of food) and some Pinspiration, I developed a carnitas recipe that everyone in our casa LOVES.
Now I don’t know about you, but I do not have time to watch a pot on the stove all day; not to mention the heat that brings to the entire house.
(Did I mention we live in the deep South!)
So it was necessary to make this carnitas recipe work for a slow cooker.
Y’all…whether you got 4 hours or 8 hours to “set it and forget it”, this pork roast is packed with flavor. Because, I’ll admit, carnitas was never one of my favorites; most of the time it was bland and lacked flavor. And if I’m going to eat, I want my belly and my taste buds to feel satisfied. Right?
Flavor is layered with each step. In the beginning, you lock in the spice rub mixture by searing the roast before placing it in the slow cooker. Reducing the pan juices at the end gives the pork a punch: it really concentrates all those flavors that build during cooking. And then you ladle that juicy goodness back on top of the shredded pork before throwing it in the oven so it all gets absorbed…..OH MAN! So good!
And the caramelization of the juices that occurs at the end of the cooking time when you broil the shredded pork. It’s crispy…juicy…heaven.
100% of the time, I buy whatever pork roast is the cheapest. Lately, it’s been Boston butt, but use whatever cut you find on sale at your grocery.
A 3-5 pound roast will easily cook in 8 hours on a low setting. But if you are crunched for time, absolutely crank the slow cooker up on high and cook it for just 4 hours. The pork will still be tender, juicy and shred easily.
Our family of four can put a hurtin on a 3 lb roast when we fix these carnitas. We may be miserably full, hahaha, but we can clean the plate.
I like to serve it up in white corn tortillas topped with cilantro and lime wedges.
Because…who doesn’t love tacos?
And in the case that there are any leftovers, it reheats beautifully. (I’m usually the lucky one that gets that lunch.)
Get the recipe at the bottom of this post. I would love to hear how you plan to serve up these slow cooker carnitas. Drop me a line below and let me know!