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I love Mexican cuisine. One of my favorite Mexican meals, is Pork Carnitas. I'm excited to share this easy and delicious recipe with you, and hope that this will become one of your favorite Mexican meals as well!
Why You Will Love This Carnitas Recipe!
You will love this carnitas recipe because:
- It's easy! We will use the slow cooker so this simple recipe is mostly hands off and only requires a few ingredients
- Slow cooking the pork will give you truly tender pork that will melt in your mouth
- The seasonings we will use will give the pork an amazing flavor
- It's the perfect dish to use for Taco Tuesday or whenever you enjoy taco night!
What is Carnitas?
Carnitas means "little meats." This Mexican dish originated in the state of Michoacan. Carnitas is usually made with a very heavily marbled cut of pork, such as pork shoulder which has a higher fat content. It is cooked for several hours until it is fall apart and fork tender. Carnitas can be eaten on its own, or served in tacos, burritos or burrito bowls, enchiladas, tamales, etc.
Here, we will concentrate on making a delicious, tender, and juicy Pork Carnitas in the slow cooker or crock pot. I believe the crock pot is the best way to cook carnitas. We'll then enjoy the the slow cooker carnitas in some authentic pork carnitas tacos that are out of this world delicious!
Ingredients Needed For Pork Carnitas Tacos
The ingredients list for the carnitas tacos is super simple! All you will need is:
- Boneless Pork Shoulder (pork butt)
- Seasoning Sazon Goya with Cilantro and Achiote, and Goya Sazonador Total
- Tortillas to wrap the carnitas in to make the tacos; I like flour tortillas, but you can use corn tortillas if you prefer
- Garnishes - suggest garnishes include diced onion, fresh cilantro, lime wedges, and chilis!
- Tabasco - I also add Tabasco...consider adding if you like it HOT. 🙂
Fresh diced onions are a MUST for these carnitas tacos! I like to use a mixture of red onion and yellow onion.
Another must is fresh lime juice. One of my favorite rituals when eating my savory carnitas tacos is to squeeze the limes over the pork tacos. It's so very satisfying!
What is Sazon Goya?
A quick note about Sazon Goya. Goya products can be found in many grocery stores, and also Spanish and Mexican markets. The one I used is the one with coriander and annatto. The annatto, which is an orange-red food coloring which comes from the seeds of the achiote tree, is used to impart color to the food. The Sazon is basically a seasoned salt, and in addition to the coriander and annatto, it also contains garlic and cumin.
The Super Easy Crock Pot Method
If you are like me, then you LOVE coming home to a delicious aroma from a meal that has been cooking all day in your crockpot. There's almost nothing better.
Firstly, I simply put the boneless pork shoulder (already cut up for carnitas) in the crockpot. Then the Sazon Goya and Goya Sazonador Total seasonings were added and mixed into the meat. I set the crockpot on low and cooked for 8 hrs.
After the pork is cooked for 8 hrs, remove the tender chunks of pork from the crock pot with a slotted spoon and place it in a broiler safe tray. You can shred the pork at this point if you like. Be sure that the pork is placed in a single layer in the tray.
Put the pieces of pork or shredded pork under the broiler for a few minutes and broil until the pork turns brown and has crispy edges.
So what was The RESULT?
SUPER DELICIOUS FALL APART TENDER CRISPY CARNITAS!
A Word About Tortillas
You can buy flour tortillas that are ready to eat. They are fine. However, I really enjoy buying the ready to cook tortillas, which you can find in the refrigerated section. I think they taste WORLD's better, and they are fun to cook!
If you are using ready to eat tortillas, be sure to warm the tortillas for use in this meal. I like to heat them up in a skillet that is set to medium high for a few seconds on each side to get them ready for the carnitas.
I prefer flour tortillas, but you can also enjoy carnitas with corn tortillas. Using smaller corn tortillas will officially turn your meal into pork carnitas street tacos!
Dinner is Served!
It's time to enjoy a delicious meal with some of the best pork tacos ever!
Place some of the tender fall apart pork onto your warm tortillas, and add your garnishes. Time for a squeeze of lime and then devour to your delight!
I hope you will enjoy these delicious Pork Carnitas Tacos!
Check out this YouTube video to whet your appetite for this dish!
You can also cook pork carnitas in a Dutch oven. It would probably be best to add some liquid (a little orange juice or chicken broth) to the seasoned pork in the Dutch oven. Then bake around 4 hrs at 300F.
Street tacos typically include small corn tortillas rather than larger tortillas or flour tortillas. Smaller tortillas were much easier to hold in your hand as you walk down the street, hence the name street taco. A pork carnitas street taco will include a small corn tortilla.
Leftover carnitas can be stored in an airtight container and should be placed in your fridge. Best consumed within 3-4 days.
Some Other Recipes You Many Enjoy!
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Pork Carnitas Tacos
- slow cooker or crockpot
- 2.5 lbs Boneless Pork Shoulder for Carnitas if you can't find it cut up for carnitas, you can cut up the meat yourself into medium sized pieces
- 1 packet Sazon Goya seasoning with Cilantro and Achiote; you can also use salt and pepper to taste instead of the Sazon Goya seasoning
- 2 tablespoon Goya Sazonador Total you can also use salt and pepper to taste instead of the Goya Sazonador Total seasoning
- flour tortillas or tortilla of your choice
- diced onion suggested garnish
- cilantro suggested garnish
- chili peppers suggested garnish (I used Thai, you can use jalapeno or serrano as well)
- Tabasco suggested garnish
- lime cut into wedges, served on the side
- Remove the pork from the packaging and drain any excess liquid. If you can't find boneless pork shoulder already cut for carnitas, you can cut up the meat yourself into medium sized pieces. Add your Sazon Goya seasoning and Goya Sazonador Total to the meat and mix well. (You can sub salt and pepper for the Goya seasonings if you prefer).
- Add the seasoned meat to your crockpot, and set on low. Cover and cook for 8 hours.
- Turn up your broiler. Place some of the meat under the broiler for just a couple of minutes or until the meat turns crispy and nicely browned. Keep checking the meat to ensure it doesn't burn!
- Place some of the crispy and browned meat on your tortilla, and garnish with your garnishes of choice!