Pork Carnitas
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
From Melissa D'Arabian, but I re-wrote the directions to incorporate my notes and changes.
Serves: 6-8 people
  • 2½ pounds bone-in pork shoulder (2 pounds boneless)
  • Salt (I like kosher, especially for the final step, but it's not necessary)
  • Black pepper (freshly ground if you have it, regular if you don't)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 cloves of garlic, pushed through a garlic press or minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, cut into quarters
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and ribs removed, roughly chopped
  • 1 orange
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  1. Rinse and dry the pork shoulder. Salt and pepper liberally. Place pork shoulder in a slow cooker.
  2. Mix together the oregano, cumin, garlic and olive oil. Spread half of the oil mixture on one side of the pork shoulder, flip over and then rub the rest of the oil mixture on the other side of the pork shoulder.
  3. Place the onion and jalapeno in the slow cooker with the meat. I put some of the veggies on top and some around the edges.
  4. Cut the orange in half and then squeeze the juice into the slow cooker. Place the two orange halves in the slow cooker.
  5. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4 hours (I cooked it on low for 8 hours). Flip the meat over halfway through cooking.
  6. Once the meat is super tender, turn off the slow cooker and remove the meat. Pull the meat apart with a fork, discarding bone if using bone-in shoulder.
  7. Heat vegetable oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Sprinkle pan liberally with more salt. Evenly layer the carnitas in the pan once the pan is hot and cook just one side until you get a nice crispy edge on the meat touching the pan.
  8. Remove from heat, stir together, do a little taste test and add a bit of salt if needed (probably not needed, but check anyway).
  9. Serve with fresh cilantro, salsa, hot sauce and tortillas. You could also add other items to your taco (rice, beans, tomatoes, lettuce, guac, etc), but Nate and I found that the carnitas were just so good it was better to have a simply-dressed taco.
Recipe by This Week for Dinner at https://thisweekfordinner.com/easy-homemade-carnitas/