Friday, August 9, 2019

Pork Carnitas

Missy Tippens

I love carnitas tacos. I mean REALLY love them. I get them every time we eat at certain Mexican restaurants (the ones that do them really well). So recently, I decided to try to make them at home.

I got a Boston butt roast. I considered using the Instant Pot but settled on the slow cooker because the recipes I found were simpler (and I had a busy day).

Of course, I lined the Crock Pot for easy cleanup.

I looked at several recipes but didn't follow any exactly because I didn't have everything I needed (the usual for me). One thing I needed was an orange! So be sure if you make it to have an orange on hand.

Here's the main recipe that I based mine on: Melissa d'Arabian's at Food Network.

I rubbed the roast with salt and pepper. Then I mixed oregano and cumin with canola oil and rubbed it on the meat. Then I put it in the cooker and topped with onion and garlic. I planned to do 4 hours on high and then turn it down until dinner time.

But when I went to check it and turn it down, it wasn't tender at all! Most of the recipes called for a 2 pound roast. So I dug the package out of the garbage can to see how heavy my roast was.

IT WAS 7.5 POUNDS!!! LOL!! So I kept that baby on high, and we had a late dinner. :)

I took the meat out and let it cool for a while so I could shred it. Then I heated oil in a skillet and put some of the shredded meat in. I pressed with a spatula (and later weighted it down with my dad's Lodge cast iron meat press I inherited). It got nice and crispy and yummy!

One thing I love about my favorite restaurants is they top the tacos with cabbage. And some even put on pickled onion. It really makes the dish.

I love mine on corn tortillas (heated in the skillet alongside the meat). My husband likes his on flour tortillas.

I topped mine with cabbage (I bought pre-packaged coleslaw mix!). My husband ate his with salsa and avocado. They turned out really good!

Next time, I'll definitely buy a smaller roast (I had used Kroger pick-up service that time and they had chosen the roast for me). And I'll also have that orange to add a little zest and juice. But overall, I was pleased.

Of course, my favorite Mexican restaurants don't have anything to worry about. I'll still show up often, because they have the best chips and salsa! :)


  1. You had me at tacos. Isn't cabbage a nice change up from the usual? Tacos are just good for the soul really! We have some leftover smoked pork in the freezer. I bet that will make some good carnitas!

    1. Katie, that would be great in tacos! Try crisping it up in the skillet to see how you like it that way.

  2. Missy, I haven't made carnitas in forever. However, I do use cumin quite frequently to season my meat. I just love the flavor. Especially on pork or chicken. And I'm with you on topping the tacos with cabbage. I love the freshness of it, especially in the summertime.

  3. I'm not sure what happened to yesterday, Missy. I know I saw this post. These look amazing.

    1. That happens to me sometimes! I read it but get distracted before I comment. :)