When we go to our local favorite Mexican food restaurant, I order carnitas soft tacos … about 90% of the time. And when I go to Chipotle, I always order a carnitas salad. But until recently, I’ve never made carnitas.
So a few months ago, I set out to find an easy, healthy recipe for carnitas. This is one of the easiest recipes and makes the most delicious, flavorful, moist carnitas. And, if you substitute pork loin for pork shoulder (see the NOTES section below), it’s a really healthy source of protein.
Carnitas are great in tacos, burritos, and even salads. Add some cilantro and salsa with corn or flour tortillas, and you’ve got a great meal! (My favorite is with Trader Joe’s Mango Salsa). Sour cream, avocado or guacamole, cheese … the condiments are nearly endless.
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Garlic Salt
1 tsp. ground Cumin
1/2 tsp. dried Oregano
1/2 tsp. ground Coriander
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
1 4 lb. boneless Pork Shoulder **
2 Bay Leaves
1 to 2 cups Chicken Broth
Garnish Options: Cilantro leaves, Avocado, Sour Cream, Grated Cheese, Salsa (and my favorite … TJ’s Mango Salsa)
Tortillas – corn or flour
1. Mix spices in a small bowl. Coat the pork (on all sides) with the spice rub mixture.
2. Place bay leaves in the bottom of the slow cooker. Place the pork on top of the bay leaves. Pour chicken broth around the sides of the pork, making sure not to rinse off the spice mixture on top of pork.
3. Cook on low in a slow cooker for 5 hours. Turn the pork over and continue to cook for another 5 hours.
4. Use forks to shred the pork. Serve the carnitas based on your preference.
** I often substitute pork loin for pork shoulder. It’s a much leaner cut and makes for a healthier meal. (Costco sells pork loin – in 2 packs. I use one sleeve of pork loin (2 loins) for this recipe. I cut each pork loin in half ending up with 4 pieces. I reduce the broth to about 1 cup, as you don’t want to cover the pork and rinse off the spice rub.)