These Carnitas Tacos are slow-cooked to perfection.
They’re an easy recipe that’s perfect to make on a chilly weekend!
Can we talk easy food for a minute? As a food blogger, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen…and I absolutely love testing recipes! Tweak this for the next time. Add that for the next batch. Good thing for me is that my wife loves to cook, too. Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and I’m certain that we will cook a full Turkey Day feast here. (Never mind the fact that it’s just the two of us…but then again, Thanksgiving leftovers are the best part, right??) Despite our passion for cooking and baking, sometimes we like to take it easy. And that’s where recipes like this one come in. These Carnitas Tacos are slow-cooked for several hours…and the result is one delicious (and easy!) dinner.
Now that the Winter is beginning to roll in, we end up hibernating a lot. By hibernating, I mean we head to the basement and watch shows on the DVR like it’s our job. Occasionally, I’ll take a break to pull out the snow-blower, but for the most part it’s pretty quiet around here. (Although we did join the local curling club this year, so we’ve been trying to get out and go curling at least once a week. More on that later.)
These Carnitas Tacos are the perfect Winter meal. It’s easy to make the carnitas, and I consider tacos to be one of the best comfort foods ever! Since it’s just the two of us here, we end up freezing the leftover meat in about 2-3 night portions. That way we can just pull it out and have easy weeknight meals. (We do the same with Hickory Smoked Pulled Pork and Smoked Brisket, but I much prefer to cook indoors in the Winter…imagine that!)
I use a heavy Dutch oven when making these Carnitas Tacos, but I’m sure you could adapt this recipe for a crock-pot if that is your preferred style (just check out your crock pot manual for cooking temps and adjust the recipe as needed). Our crock pot broke last year, and I just haven’t replaced it. I’m a huge fan of enameled cast iron (i.e. Le Creuset), so I really don’t know if I’ll replace our crock pot. Either way, these Carnitas Tacos are a great recipe to make on a chilly weekend. Enjoy!
Did you make these Carnitas Tacos at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog)!
- 2-3 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
- 5-6 pound pork shoulder
- 1 white onion coarsely chopped
- 1 Tbsp kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and thinly sliced
- 1-2 chipotle peppers finely chopped (see note below)
- 1 Tbsp adobo sauce see note below
- 1 ½ Tbsp juniper berries lightly crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ Tbsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 cups chicken broth
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Place a large oven-safe pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the canola oil and heat until oil is hot.
- Place the pork shoulder in the pan and sear each side for about 2-3 minutes. Continue rotating until all sides of the pork shoulder have been seared.
- Reduce heat to medium and add the chopped onions. Cook for 6-8 minutes.
- Add all of the remaining ingredients except for the chicken broth (garlic, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, juniper berries, bay leaves, chili powder, oregano, thyme and cumin) to the pot.
- Add chicken broth to the pot. Then add water until the water is about ¾ of the way up the side of the pork shoulder. Stir the pot gently.
- Cover and place pot in the oven for 4 hours.
- Once cooked, transfer the pork shoulder to a large cutting board. Discard the remaining liquid.
- Once pork is cool enough to handle, shred it using 2 forks.
- To prepare, place about 2 cups of pork in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2-3 Tbsp of chicken stock and cook until stock has evaporated and pork is slightly crispy.
- Serve in tacos or burritos along with shredded lettuce, guacamole, corn salsa, pico de gallo, cheese and Chipotle rice.
Looking for more tasty taco recipes? Check out these other favorites, too: