Where did the day go? Time is moving at warp speed these days. Work, carpool, sports games, dinner, help with homework, face-plant into bed. Dinners like slow cooker carnitas have saved me time and again when I need a no-nonsense answer to “what’s for dinner?”
The quality of meat here makes a difference. I love the pork from Yonder Way Farm in Texas, but just go to a reputable butcher near you. Don’t forget the taco fixings, everything goes! Guacamole, pico, tomatillo salsa, crumbled cotija cheese, cilantro, you name it.
I prefer a fully loaded carnitas bowl, but my family piles theirs in corn tortillas. To warm your corn tortillas, place them in the microwave for 10-12 seconds covered with a damp paper towel.
I’ve been making this super easy dinner for years. I hope you like it as much as we do and it becomes a favorite in your family–for taco Tuesday or any night of the week.
Slow Cooker Carnitas
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or other high smoke point/low flavor oil
- 2 1/2 pound pork shoulder bone-in is more flavorful, but boneless is fine too
- 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 white or yellow onion halved and sliced thin into half moons
- In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the oil and warm until shimmering. Sprinkle the pork generously with salt and add the meat to the pan. Sear the pork until a crust forms, about 4 minutes per side. After one side sears, rotate to sear all the sides and the ends. To do the ends, you may need to hold the pork with tongs and keep it in place.
- Add the sliced onion and bay leaf to the slow cooker. Transfer the pork to a slow cooker and place it on top of the onions. Add any remaining salt and a few grindings of freshly ground pepper.
- Cover and cook on high for 6-7 hours. After 6 hours, shred the pork with two forks or tongs. If the meat falls apart and shreds easily, change temperature setting to warm, and cover the slow cooker until ready to serve. If the meat doesn't fall apart, return it to the slow cooker, cover, and cook an additional 1-2 hours on low.
- To crisp the pork, place the shredded meat in a single layer on a sheetpan and broil on high on the top rack of the oven until slightly browned and caramelized on the edges of the meat, about 1 minute.
- Serve with corn tortillas, cilantro, avocado, jalapeños, tomatillo salsa, pickled red onions and hot sauce.
These look amazing!! Quick question: Do the onjk. And bag leaf go in the slow cooker and get shredded along with the pork? Thanks so much!!
Apologies I’m just now responding! The onion and bay leaf go in the slow cooker with the pork. I remove the bay leaf (not the onion) before shredding the pork. I’ll look at the recipe and make sure that’s clear! Thank you so much for the question… -Marcia
Thanks for decoding my typo-ridden comment and replying! I finally made the tacos and they were amazing! A big hit with the whole family! Thanks.
Could you also post the InstaPot cooking time for this recipe?
what can I use instead of pork?
Sounds delicious! Could this be done in the Instant Pot?