Crispy, juicy, pork carnitas are one of my family’s favorite meals. For about 3 years now I’ve been making them using this recipe, and they are truly phenomenal that way. Unfortunately, that recipe is a little more involved and as much as we love them, there just isn’t always time for those steps.
On a busy day, Slow-Cooker Carnitas make a spectacular dinner that is about 10x less hands-on than the traditional recipe and my whole family loves them. My friend Sandra introduced me to this recipe a couple months ago and I’ve already made these carnitas a twice since then. The pork is always flavorful and the leftover carnitas keep nicely in the refrigerator for days.
Save this recipe now, and try not to eat all the pork right away, because I am super excited to share a couple more great recipes with you later this week to help use all this amazing meat!
Take the extra 5-10 minutes for the finishing step on the stove, it makes an enormous difference in the crisp, juicy, amazingness of this meat!
Slow-Cooker Pork Carnitas
Yield: 10-12 servings
5-6 pound pork roast
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 yellow or white onion, sliced thin
4 large cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup orange juice
Rinse and pat dry the pork roast. Stir together the olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, and cumin. Rub the spice mixture all over the pork roast. Place the roast in the slow-cooker with the fat cap facing up. Place the onions and the garlic over the roast. Pour the orange juice over the roast.
Cover with lid and cook on LOW for 9-11 hours, until tender and falling apart. (If the fat cap is still intact over the roast, pull the biggest pieces of it off and discard.) Carefully pull apart the roast, leaving plenty of bite-size chunks of meat. (Try not to shred it to tiny pieces.) Use a slotted spoon, spatula, or tongs to lift the meat out of the slow-cooker.
Heat a large non-stick skillet over high heat. Place about 2 cups worth of shredded pork into the hot pan and press down with a spatula. Cook until the bottom side of the pork is crispy and browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a platter or serving dish and drizzle with some of the juices from the slow-cooker. Repeat with the remaining pork. Enjoy!
FREEZER INSTRUCTIONS: If you are freezing extra pork or making the recipe in advance, skip the stove-top cooking step and simply place the shredded pork in a gallon size zip-close bag along with the crock-pot juices. When ready to use, thaw completely in the refrigerator and then use the above directions to crisp the pork in a pan on the stove.