This carnitas tacos recipe was made specifically for the slow cooker. Add your meat and Mexican seasonings and walk away, it’s as easy as that! Enjoy this tender and juicy dish, perfect for street or weeknight tacos.
Seasoned with warming spices like cinnamon and orange juice, this is one of my favorite recipes for carnitas tacos. Carnitas (little meats in spanish) is best cooked when slow roasted at a low heat, making it perfect for the crockpot. Made with a variety of different spices, you really can’t go wrong. Now traditionally this dish is made with lard. Depending on your grocery store or local butcher, you might be able to find lard. However, if you can’t, I have a trick that will give a good deep flavor that is distinctive with carnitas.
My trick is BACON! Provides such a great flavor and adds that little bit a lard that is needed. I try and use bacon whenever lard is requested in a traditional Mexican recipe, also, it is always in my freezer. 🙂 Butter is also a good alternative or an addition.
Slow Cooker Ingredients for carnitas tacos:
Start by adding 6 strips of bacon to the bottom of the slow cooker. Then chop two onions and add them to the slow cooker, with juice from one whole fresh lime (estimated 2 tablespoons), 1 jalapeno chopped (leave seeds in for heat or take out seeds and membrane from inside the Jalapeno before chopping), 1/2 cup of Orange Juice, 4 tablespoons of butter and one bay leaf (save this for the very end or it will be hard to find later).
The Meat for carnitas tacos:
Turn the slow cooker on the low setting, this will allow the slow cooker to warm up before you add the meat. This recipe is for 6 pounds of pork shoulder. To prepare the meat before placing it in the slow cooker, grab a separate bowl and mix all the seasonings together, then rub them really well all over the pork until it is fully covered.
Finally add the meat to the slow cooker and cover. Cook on low for 6 hours.
Optional: for the crispy bits! When the meat is done, add the meat to a baking sheet and broil for 5 minutes in the oven with the rack on one of the highest levels. So good!
Now you are ready to eat some delicious tacos! Due to the amount of seasoning and flavor that comes off of the meat. I usually eat this street taco style, just adding cilantro and white onion. So tender, juicy and delicious!
Enjoy this delicious carnitas taco recipe, perfect for a big Sunday dinner or weekly prep using leftovers. This recipe re-heats extremely well.