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Slow Cooker Carnitas

Prep: 15 min   Cook 8-10 hrs

Serves 9-11

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 to 5 lb pork butt, bone-in, (if using boneless, 3 1/2 to 4 lb)
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 onion , chopped
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano Pepper, deseeded, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup juice from oranges (2 oranges)

RUB

  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Directions

  1. Rinse and dry the pork , rub all over with salt and pepper.
  2. Combine the Rub ingredients then rub all over the pork.
  3. Place the pork in a slow cooker (fat cap up), top with the onion, pepper, minced garlic and squeeze over the orange juice.
  4. Slow Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 7 hours. *
  5. Pork should be tender enough to shred. Remove from slow cooker and let cool slightly. Then shred using two forks.
  6. If desired, skim off the fat from the juices remaining and discard.
  7. If you have more than 2 cups of juice, then reduce it down to about 2 cups. The liquid will be salty, it is the seasoning for the pork. Set liquid aside.

TO CRISP:

  1. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large non stick pan or well seasoned skillet over high heat. Spread pork in the pan, drizzle over some juices. Wait until the juices evaporate and the bottom side is golden brown and crusty. Turn and just briefly sear the other side – you don’t want to make it brown all over because then it’s too crispy, need tender juicy bits.
  2. Remove pork from skillet. Repeat in batches – don’t crowd the pan.
  3. Just before serving, drizzle over more juices and serve hot, stuffed in tacos or tortillas with toppings.

Toppings/Fixings: Diced avocado or Guacamole, Pico de Gallo or Salsa, sliced tomato & lettuce, grated or mexican style cheese, sour cream, cilantro or pickled cabbage.

*Oven: Follow recipe but put pork in roasting pan. Add 2 cups water around pork. Cover tightly with foil, roast in 325F oven for 2 hours, uncover foil and roast for an additional 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Add more water if needed. You should end up with 1 1/2 to 2 cups of liquid when cooking is complete. You may skip the pan frying step because you will get a nice brown crust on your pork. Shred pork, then drizzle with juices for serving and add your favorite toppings.

*Electric pressure cooker or Instant Pot: 1 h 30 minutes on high. Let pressure release naturally. Proceed with Step 5 of recipe.

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