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Filtering by Tag: tacos

slow-cooked carnitas tacos



There is something about summertime that leaves me craving tacos.  I have no idea where this comes from, but the combination of fresh tortillas, pulled meat, avocado, and salsa does not leave my brain from mid-May through early September.  Sure, I'd consume tacos any time of the year, but during these summer months I could eat them every single week. Also, we have a thing for pork in this household. Whether it be bacon, or pulled bbq, or thick bone-in chops...I dare say that pork is our favorite meat. So combine tacos with pork and you'll find a very happy Andrea chowing down, claiming 'this is the best meal, ever'. Not only because I love that particular combination of flavors, but because slow-cooked carnitas tacos are easy, and don't heat up my kitchen, and make enough quantity to have leftovers for a couple of days. On these brutally hot Virginia summer evenings that is EXACTLY the kind of recipe to do a little food dance for.

We made these tacos for Tommy + Kristin's baby party a couple of months ago (and, btw, Olive has arrived!). Ever since I've been craving them, talking about making carnitas tacos each week following.  We finally picked up a beautiful pork shoulder (or butt that is...I know, its confusing) from Belmont Butchery last week, and there was no way that carnitas weren't happening after 3 months of thinking about them. And oh, were they good. SO good, that I think they'll have to happen again soon. Maybe next week, even...


These tortillas came from La Michoacana.  C-villians...if you haven't been there yet, GO. Right NOW. Everybody else, see if you can find fresh tortillas for your carnitas tacos, they will make all the difference.

Slow-Cooked Carnitas
serves 8 (about 32 small tacos)
  • (1) 6 pound bone-in pork butt (also called pork shoulder)
  • 2 tbsp coarse salt
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 8 whole cloves garlic, smashed
  • 4 chipotle peppers (canned, in adobo sauce)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup orange juice
  1. Trim the excess fat from the meat and discard.  Place all ingredients in your slow-cooker and set to LOW.  Cook for 8 hours.  Meat is done when it literally falls off of the bone. When it is cool enough to handle, lift the meat from the juices and place on a large platter or cutting board. Remove the bone and shred the meat to bite-size pieces.
  2. Skim the fat from the juices and keep as a medium for re-heating the meat.  To reheat, place carnitas in a baking dish and pour juices over top. Cover with foil and re-heat in oven.  The juices are also really delicious as a sauce over the carnitas.  It will be spicier than the meat itself, so be careful to taste-test.
  3. For tacos, serve with small corn tortillas, sour cream, lime, avocado, fresh salsa, and queso fresco.