Pork Carnitas Tacos

If there’s anything better than carnitas, I haven’t come across it yet. Except maybe chocolate.

I crave this recipe. These are the best carnitas tacos I have ever tasted, a former boss taught me to make the pork and my taste buds thank him every time I make it.

Start with a 3-4 lb pork shoulder/boston butt roast, cut away any big pieces of fat. Salt GENEROUSLY with kosher salt. Let it hang out in the fridge for a 3-5 hours. (Sorry for the dark photo, not sure what happened…the rest are better!)

Once you’ve let it hang out with the salt for a long time, start your slow cooker on high to preheat.

You can also start gathering your other ingredients:

  • 1 Tb. chili powder
  • one dried ancho pepper with seeds and top removed (mines a guajillo, it’s what I happened to have on hand today, you could also use 1 tsp. ancho chili powder)
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 Tb. fresh minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • one cinnamon stick
  • one 12 oz. bottle of beer (Ideally, you’d want a pale ale or amber, I only had stout on hand today.)

Now remove the roast from the fridge and brown it in a little canola oil over medium high heat.

Don’t skip the edges.

Once you’re browned all over, pop it into the slow cooker. We’re not going to forget all of this good stuff, though.

Turn the heat off the burner and add the bottle of beer. Gently scrape the bits off the bottom of the pan.

Pour this goodness over the roast in the slow cooker. Add enough water to come about half way up the side of the roast. Add all your other stuff and mix it in.

Cover, drop heat to low, and cook 4-6 hours.

Remove from slow cooker to a cutting board. Shred with two forks, if you’ve cooked it long enough this should be super easy.

Now, turn your broiler on high and position your broiler rack 3-5″ from heat. Spread shredded meat out on a cookie sheet and broil for 10-15 minutes, turning with tongs every 2 minutes or so. You want to get some nice caramelization going on. Sorry I didn’t get a picture of this part.

Add some of the cooking liquid and toss.

Now serve!

The accompaniments I think are absolutely necessary are:

  • finely diced Spanish white onion
  • lime wedges
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • crumbled queso fresco
  • salsa verde (best if you can make it, but the stuff from the jar isn’t bad)
  • and these:

The corn/wheat blend makes them flexible, but they still taste like the traditional corn tortillas that are served with carnitas. Regular corn tortillas frustrate the heck out of me because they won’t hold together.

Enjoy! (I’d recommend a margarita to go with it!)

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