These Easy Slow Cooker Carnitas make killer tacos or burrito bowls the whole family is guaranteed to love.
For the Carnitas:
- 3 lbs. boneless pork shoulder or butt roast, patted dry (about 3½ lbs. bone-in)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced (about a 1 heaping cup)
- 1 Tbsp. chili powder
- 1 Tbsp. cumin
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- Pinch of cinnamon (about ⅛ tsp.)
- Pinch of chipotle powder (about ⅛ tsp.), more if you like it spicier
- 2 tsp. salt + more to taste
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- Juice of 2 limes (about 2 Tbsp.)
- Juice of 1 large orange (about ¼ cup)
For the Cilantro-Lime Sauce:
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- ½ tsp. salt + more to taste
- Juice of 1 lime (about 1 Tbsp.)
- Pat pork shoulder dry with paper towels.
- In a small bowl, combine chili powder, cumin, dried oregano, cinnamon, chipotle powder, salt, and black pepper to make the spice rub.
- Rub spice mixture onto the entire surface of the pork shoulder. This can be done up to 3 days in advance and the pork stored, covered, in the fridge until ready to cook.
- Place pork shoulder in the slow cooker, fat cap facing up (the ‘fat cap’ is the thick layer of fat). Place onions and garlic on top of the pork.
- Pour lime and orange juice over all and place lid on the slow cooker. No stirring necessary!
- Set slow cooker to LOW and cook for 8-9 hours or until pork shreds easily with a fork.
- When pork is done, remove pork from the slow cooker to a bowl or baking dish and shred pork with two forks, adding a little of the liquid from the slow cooker as needed to moisten and season the meat. Taste and season with additional salt, if needed.
Optional: Spread shredded pork on a baking sheet and broil for 3-4 minutes until edges of pork are crispy. Alternatively, you can place pork in a hot, preheated cast iron skillet and allow it to sit, undisturbed, for 5-6 minutes to allow pork to get crispy. Stir and cook an additional 2-3 minutes or until edges are crispy.
- Serve with desired toppings.
To make the Cilantro-Lime Sauce:
- Place all sauce ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until well-combined, add a few drops of water to thin it if needed.
- Taste and adjust salt to taste. Store in a covered container in the fridge up to 5 days.
Created in partnership with The Real Food RDs.