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Carnitas Serving 2
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Carnitas . . . Low and Slow

Try these delicious carnitas with our homemade salsa verde, salsa fresca and homemade tortillas!
Remember to allow time at the end of cooking to cool and shred and "crisp" the "little meats"!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
Course: Main Course, Pork
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Carnitas
Servings: 5 servings
Author: Debbie


  • 3-½ teaspoons salt
  • 1-½ teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large orange (or ¼ cup orange juice)
  • 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, (or 2 ½ pounds bone-in)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded, ribs removed and chopped
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • salt, (optional)
  • corn (or flour) tortillas, to serve
  • Optional toppings: salsa, sliced avocado, guacamole, fresh lime juice, queso fresco cheese or other shredded cheese


  • Mix the salt, freshly ground pepper, dried oregano and cumin together in a small bowl. Add the olive oil and mix together. Set aside.
  • Cut the orange in half and set aside.
  • Rinse the pork shoulder (sometimes labeled “pork butt”) thoroughly under cool water. Pat dry completely.
  • With your hands, rub prepared spice herb mixture all over the pork…front back, sides and inside any folds.
  • Place in slow cooker along with the sliced jalapeño, chopped onions and sliced garlic.
  • Over the pork, squeeze the orange so the juice pours evenly over. Alternatively, add orange juice.
  • Add the orange halves to the slow cooker, (unless using the orange juice only)
  • Be sure the slow cooker is plugged in and turned on! (I say that for a reason -wink wink :) )
  • If you have all day, cook on low for 8-10 hours. If not, on high for 4 hours works too!
  • After chosen cooking time, shred an area of the roast with a fork to check tenderness.
  • Carefully remove pork to a plate or large cutting board to cool.
  • Once completely cool to touch, shred the entire roast, discard any large areas of fat.

At this point, you have 2 options of how to prepare your “little meats!”

  • Preheat oven or grill to 350 degrees.
  • On a baking sheet lined with foil, spread carnitas evenly and salt well.
  • Cook until crisp, about 10 minutes.


  • Melt 3 tablespoons of oil or lard into a skillet or frying pan.
  • Once hot but not smoking, add the carnitas, pressing down to crisp.
  • Turn to crisp evenly but not too much to dry out.
  • Remove with tongs or a slotted spoon and transfer onto a paper towel lined plate.
  • Salt well (optional)


  • Warm corn (or flour, if preferred) tortillas in a dry skillet or sprinkled with water, wrapped in a damp non-terrycloth towel, microwave on high for 20 seconds, a few at a time.
  • Top with guacamole, salsa fresca or salsa verde, crumbled queso fresco or shredded cheese. Sometimes a squeeze of lime does the trick!


Gr8 Tip:

I must confess, I’m not a huge fan of leftovers..but leftover carnitas?!? Hello…..Nachos, duh!
Tried this recipe?Mention @Great8Friends or tag #gr8food!