I’m from East Texas which means, among other things, I grew up eating a lot of Tex-Mex. Now let’s be clear, I don’t think Tex-Mex is authentic Mexican food…it actually might be more delicious. Just kidding! Maybe a tie though???? Ok, nevermind, ha! One of my favorite Tex-Mex recipes is Pork Carnitas. This is essentially slow cooked shredded pork shoulder, that goes fantastic with tacos, with enchiladas, with chips, with rice…pretty much everything. My favorite thing about this dish is that you easily put it together and then you just walk away (wine in hand of course).
We served our carnitas with tacos and all the fixin’s! We had cilantro, jalapenos, avocados, lettuce, limes and delicious corn tortillas. O! I also made queso, because the Texan in me believes yellow cheese queso compliments everything! Enjoy yours however you choose.
Crispy Tex-Mex Pork Carnitas
- 2 lbs. pork shoulder, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 tbsp. oregano
- 1/2 tbsp. pepper
- 2 tbsp. onion powder
- 2 tbsp. garlic powder
- 1 tbsp. cumin
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 small orange, quartered
- 1 lime, quartered
- 1 large onion, quartered
- 2 c chicken stock, low sodium
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- Place the chopped pork shoulder in a bowl, and season with the oregano, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and cumin. Mix thoroughly and pour into the slow cooker.
- Add the bay leaf, orange, lime and onion to the slow cooker with the pork. Mix thoroughly. Add the chicken stock to the slow cooker.
- Turn the slow cooker on high, and cook for 4 hours. Approximately every hour or so, stir pork to ensure all the meat has had time under the seasoned liquid. If necessary add more liquid.
- After 4 hours drain and shred the pork, and set the meat aside. Reserve the liquid. I don’t like to shred meat with forks, so I just chopped the meat into unequal pieces. In the end it looks the same, I promise. Discard the lime, orange, and bay leaf, but reserve the onion.
- Add the butter and olive oil to a heated skillet. Next add the chopped pork shoulder and onion to the pan. Stir so the pork is fully covered in the butter and oil mixture. Cook the meat undisturbed for approximately 5 minutes. This will allow the pork and onions to brown and become crispy. After the meat mixture has browned, stir and allow the bottom to become crispy again. Once the meat has reached your desired crisp-ness (I know that’s not a real word) remove from the heat. I sautéed the meat for approximately 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so, but I know some people might like their meat more or less crispy. If during the sauté process the meat becomes too dry, add some of the reserved liquid. Season with salt to taste.
- Serve the carnitas with tortillas and whatever other toppings you desire. We enjoyed our carnitas with cilantro, jalapenos, avocado, lime and lettuce. Don’t forget the queso!