Spicy Pork Carnitas

Pork Carnitas

I have always loved Fridays for as long as I can remember.  I was born on a Friday.  I try to do any cleaning that needs done earlier in the week so I can run errands on Fridays.  Any day I don’t have to clean is always a good day!  And, it is the start of the weekend.  But I think the real reason may go back to my childhood.  My mom often made tacos on Friday nights for dinner, my favorite food in all the world.  (It’s always been about the food for me!):)  Then she let us eat them on TV trays in the family room while we watched “The Brady Bunch”.  It just didn’t get any better than that!  But now there is another reason to love Fridays – Fiesta Fridays over at the Novice Gardener‘s blog.  She hosts a great start to the weekend every Friday.  Click this link and check out all the other wonderful ideas for celebrating the weekend.  This post is about what I will take to the virtual Fiesta.  What could be more appropriate than a carnitas taco recipe!

Pork Carnitas

I made these for the 1st time last week, and they were some of the best tacos I’ve ever had.  The meat in this recipe is so flavorful.  It is smoky and a little bit spicy and so tender, it just falls apart.  The best part is that it is also a crock pot recipe so you just have to throw everything into a crock pot and turn it on.  At the end of the day, if you like, you can take the meat and put it under the broiler so you get a little crispness on the edges that tastes incredible.  I looked at a lot of carnitas recipes before settling on this one, and almost all of them contain orange juice.  I really didn’t want my tacos to taste like oranges so was a little hesitant to try it. The amazing thing is you don’t taste the orange juice at all.  It blends with the other ingredients to create a whole new flavor, and that flavor is out of this world!Pork Carnitas

Life was so much simpler back when I was a little girl sitting in front of a TV tray eating tacos.  Sometimes I miss those days.  But, fortunately I can still eat yummy tacos, and we have the Brady Bunch DVD’s in case life gets too complicated.  Happy Friday everyone!

Spicy Pork Carnitas

  • Servings: 12-15
  • Time: 15 minutes plus 8-10 hours cooking time
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 4 lb. pork butt roast (for flavor it is important the roast is this size)
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil or bacon grease
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 c orange juice (I used fresh squeezed)
  • 2 tsp. liquid smoke
  • 1 Tbsp. sea salt (I used kosher)
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • 2 Tbsp. ancho chile powder (I think it is important to use ancho and not regular chile powder – it can be found at most grocery stores in AZ or a more gourmet store)
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • corn tortillas
  • garnishes for tacos such as cilantro, purple onion, cheese, avocado, tomatoes, or salsa
  1. Smear the oil or bacon grease on the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. Cut the pork into large chunks and place inside the slow cooker.
  3. Add all the remaining ingredients around the pork.
  4. Turn the slow cooker on low for 8-10 hours, until the pork is fork tender.  Use 2 forks to shred the meat into the juices.
  5. If you like your carnitas crispy on the edges (like it’s served in restaurants) use a slotted spoon to scoop the meat out of the juices and spread in a thin layer on a baking sheet.  Place on the upper oven rack and broil for 2-5 minutes, until darker crispy edges form.  DO NOT take your eyes off the broiler – you can burn the carnitas quickly!  You just want the edges of the meat to be a little darker.
  6. You can heat up corn tortillas in one big bunch wrapped in foil in the oven on 400 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until warmed through, or heat them up individually in the microwave as needed for about 10 seconds.
  7. Place a spoonful of meat in each taco shell.  Drizzle some of the juices from the meat over it.  Then add whatever toppings you like such as cilantro, purple onion, cheese, tomatoes, avocados or salsa.  Enjoy!  Refrigerate any leftovers.

Recipe from Cook AZ I Do, originally found on A Spicy Perspective 

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Categories: Company, Main Dishes, Mexican Recipes, Party Recipes, Recipes, Weeknight Meals

My name is Shari, and I am an Arizona native and married mother of 3 who loves to cook and bake and figure out how to garden successfully in our suburban home in the desert. On this blog you will find a combination of savory and sweet recipes that have been tested by me, along with many tips to help you be successful. I hope you enjoy them!

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