Carnitas Slow Cooked Meat

Carnitas Slow Cooked Meat

I went to school in Portland, Oregon and would go to Por Que No? as often as I could.  Every time I had to get the carnitas.  Even to this day I crave their carnitas tacos. Since leaving Portland, I have attempted to recreate their amazing carnitas slow cooked meat.  This is my version.  It’s savory, herbaceous, and goes beautifully with the usual taco toppings: onion, cilantro, salsa, and cotija.

Carnitas Slow Cooked Meat Recipe
Carnitas Taco

Prep Time: 20 minutes    Cook Time: 4-5 hours     Serves: 6


1 (4-5 pound bone in pork shoulder)
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons salt
1 yellow onion, rough chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 bayleaves
1 can or bottle of light beer (I used Pabst)
Juice from 1 orange
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup water, you may need more as the cooking time increases


Heat oven to 325 degree.

First, mix the seasonings together.  Then, pread the seasonings on the pork shoulder.  Make sure to really push and massage the seasonings into the pork.  If you have extra seasoning, you can pour it into the pot once all of the other ingredients have been added.

Next, in a large dutch oven, heat up the oil.  Add the seasoned pork shoulder to the pot.  S

ear on all sides for roughly 3-5 minutes on each side.  You want to get a nice gold brown color.

Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, bay leaves, orange juice, beer, chicken stock and water.

Cover and cook for 4-5 hours or until you can pull it apart with a fork.  If the liquid in the pot starts to diminish too much, add another cup of water.

Shred the meat.  If you like crispy carnitas, heat up 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan.  You want the oil to be hot, so the meat doesn’t cook too much but just gets a nice sear.  Once the oil is hot, add some of the shredded meat and let it sear for a 3-4 minutes or until crispy.

Finally, I like to combine some of of crispy and non crispy pork in my tacos.  It creates a nice texture difference.  I also like to top my tacos with a bit of the leftover juices in the crock pot.

Taco ingredients:

Corn tortillas
White onion, diced
Cilantro, chopped
Cotija cheese, crumbled
Lots of napkins because these tacos are juicy!


Two great desserts for this meal are salted caramel budino and homemade Oreos.



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