Traditionally, carnitas are an indulgent treat of pork shoulder braised in pork fat. This slow cooker version trims the fat considerably, while broiling the finished meat is a smart way to crisp it without frying. Use any type of beer — Mexican lager, amber or dark beer — that you’d enjoy sipping with these tacos! This recipe is well worth the effort, since it yields plenty of leftovers for dinner another night. Or double up on the tortillas and toppings to serve a crowd.

Prep time: 30 minutes | Cook time: 8 hours, 6 minutes



2 tablespoons salt

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder

1 (3- to 4-pound) pork shoulder (Boston butt)

6 garlic cloves, crushed

1 orange, quartered

2 bay leaves

1 (12-ounce) bottle or can of beer


Pickled Onions:

1 medium red onion, very thinly sliced

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon sugar

Remaining ingredients:

1 teaspoon peanut oil

1 package La Tortilla Factory Hand Made Style White Corn Tortillas, Street Taco Size

1/2 cup shredded cabbage

1 thinly sliced radish

1/4 cup Mexican crema

1/4 cup (2 ounces) crumbled cotija

Cilantro leaves

1 lime, cut into 6 wedges

Jarred roasted tomato salsa, for garnish



In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons salt, cumin, oregano and chipotle chile powder thoroughly. Rub about half of the spice mixture into the pork shoulder on all sides. Place the coated pork into the slow cooker. Add garlic cloves, orange, bay leaves and beer. Sprinkle remaining rub over pork. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours.

To prepare pickled onions: Place onion in a jar or other nonreactive container. Combine lime juice, 2 teaspoons salt and sugar; pour over onion, pressing with a spoon to make sure onion slices are all wet and submerged. Cover and refrigerate while pork cooks, pressing the onions down occasionally.

Once the pork is done, remove it from the cooker and shred 1 1/2 cups of meat. (Cool remaining pork to room temperature, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate up to 4 days or freeze up to 2 months.)

Preheat broiler to HIGH. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and brush with peanut oil. Spread shredded carnitas over baking sheet in a single layer. Broil 3-4 minutes, or until the surface is crispy and beginning to char in spots.

Warm tortillas on a hot griddle or directly over a gas flame, flipping as they begin to bubble. Divide the broiled carnitas evenly among tortillas. Top with pickled onions, shredded cabbage, radish slices, crema, cheese and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges and salsa.

Number of Servings: 5

Calories: 330 | Total fat: 11 grams | Total carbohydrates: 35 grams | Dietary fiber: 5 grams | Protein: 20 grams