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Slow-cooker mojo carnitas taco bar with mango-habanero salsa, warm tortilla, avocado, charred scallions, and rice. #mexicanfood #carnitas #slowcooker #crockpot #cincodemayo @FlippedOutFood

Slow-cooker Mojo Carnitas

Slow-Cooker Mojo Carnitas are an easy "set-it-and-forget-it" weeknight meal, but flashy enough for a weekend dinner party. I love to serve the carnitas buffet style, with a DIY taco bar featuring warm tortillas, salsa, garnishes, and condiments.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Marinade 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6 –8
Author Michelle

Ingredients

FOR THE MARINADE

  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • zest of 1 lime
  • zest of one orange
  • 4 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves and stems, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Mexican oregano
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 jalapeno thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ancho chile powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

FOR THE MEAT

  • 3 lb boneless pork butt roast
  • 1 yellow or white onion sliced into thick rings
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp rich-tasting lard see Recipe Note #1

Instructions

  1. Carefully rinse the pork butt roast with cold water. Pat dry with paper toweling. Trim excess fat from the roast. Stab the meat with a filet knife all over the roast to create deep pockets for the marinade to penetrate.

  2. Mix the ingredients for the marinade in a zip-top bag. Add the roast. Marinate overnight.

  3. Add the roast and marinade to a slow-cooker along with the onion, bay leaves, and broth. Cook on low for 8 hours.

  4. Remove pork roast and cut into bite-sized pieces (or pull the pork, if you prefer). Remove bay leaves and onions with a skimmer; discard. 

  5. Heat the lard in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork to the skillet and fry until a brown, caramelized bark develops on the edges of the meat (but don't burn!). Toss with a few tablespoons of the juice from the crockpot and serve (see Recipe Note #2). 

Recipe Notes

  1. Frying the pork in lard is an optional step that creates a caramelized bark on the outside of the meat and intensifies the porky flavor. You can skip this step altogether, or set the meat under a broiler until it browns up. Then proceed with the remaining steps.
    • Make sure not to overcrowd the skillet: it may be necessary to fry the meat in small batches to get the caramelization you're after.
  2. I like to serve the pork as part of a taco bar, with warm tortillas, charred green onions, sliced jalapenos, rice, cheese, and condiments.