Carnitas Tacos

Carnitas or little meats is pork that is simmered or braised until tender.  This recipe uses the slow cooker for ease, but yes, yes it goes from skillet (browning the roast adds heaps of flavor!) to the slow cooker, and then either under the broiler or back to the skillet.  The layers of tender, juicy, and browned bits of flavor are worth every step.

Bowl o Carnitas

I’m using this in a couple recipes to show that even if there are only two of you, like a-hem in my house, it is still worth making a 2+ lb roast!  But, of course good ol’ tacos or burritos is a solid way to celebrate this amazing meat.

Carnitas Ingredients


  • 2+ lb pork roast
  • 1 large orange, quartered
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 1-2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 Tablespoon table salt
  • 1/2 Tablespoon ground pepper


Skillet to Crockpot Carnitas

Place a large skillet over medium-high – high heat, add oil.  Pat roast dry with paper towels; mix s+p, cumin, and oregano and roast down.  Add roast to hot skillet, brown for 1-3 minutes on each side, until browned around edges.

Meanwhile, add quartered orange, onion, and garlic to slow cooker; place browned roast atop.  Cook on high for 3-4 hours or until fork tender. Turn once during the cooking time, if possible.  (Mine was literally sliding off the bone at 3 hours and 40 minutes.) 

Carnitas the key step

Remove pork roast only from slow cooker, remove any excess fat at this time, shred or dice into desired size.  Cooking Method 1: Turn on broiler; with oven rack in upper 3rd closest to the heating element.  Place cut roast pieces evenly on a foil lined cookie sheet; cook for 3 to 7 minutes or until edges begin to caramelize and crisp around ends. Cooking Method  2:  Place large skillet over medium-high heat; fry pork on one-side, in single layers at a time, until browned and crisp on that side – serve. 

We love carnitas, especially for tacos.



  • corn tortillas, served warm and double-wrap each
  • carnitas, hot from the broiler
  • avocado, sliced
  • red onions, pickled or caramelized
  • cilantro, fresh
  • queso fresco, crumbled
  • fresh jalapeno, sliced, optional
  • fresh salsa, optional

Eat. Eat. Repeat. ❤  I also love to make tortas or sandwiches.  These little meats don’t have to be eaten in the Mexican food capacity and it would make great pulled pork with a sweet, sassy sauce… I’m layering my tortas up with a black bean spread, mango, jalapeño, carnitas, and queso fresco.


Tomorrow I’m sharing another amazing recipe that uses this meat, or that you can make with pork roast/pork loin!

Until then Viva Carnitas,


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