In the mood for Mexican food? I’ve got your answer: Pork Carnitas! I love that you can make these in advance, refrigerate them, and the simply reheat quickly before serving. They’re perfect perfect perfect for tailgating or any kind of entertaining whatsoever.
PICKLED RED ONIONS
(Adapted from downshiftology.com)
4 lb boneless pork shoulder or butt
1 TBSP dried oregano
1 TBSP ground cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, deseeded and finely diced
1 orange, juiced
In a small bowl place oregano, cumin, black pepper, salt, and chili powder, then stir together.
Trim any excess fat from the pork shoulder (some fat is good), then rub the spice mixture generously around the entire pork shoulder and place in the slow cooker.
Add the onion, minced garlic, jalapeno and orange juice in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on the low setting for 8-10 hours, or high heat for 5-6 hours (until the meat falls apart).
Remove the pork from the slow cooker to a large cutting board and use two forks to shred the meat. Don’t get rid of the liquid as you will be using it later.
At this point the pork can be placed in an airtight container and refrigerated OR cooked immediately using the following method:
To Crisp In The Oven
Place the shredded pork on a baking sheet or dish. Pour 1 cup of the reserved slow cooker liquid over the pork to keep it moist and tender.
Broil for 5-10 minutes or until the meat becomes golden browned and crispy on the edges.
Serve pork in corn or flour tortillas with toppings of your choice. I use pickled red onions, Cole slaw, some guacamole, salsa and chopped cilantro!
PICKLED RED ONION
(Gimme Some Oven)
This recipe is so simple but it’s in my opinion THE game changer for tacos! My husband hates red onion, and he absolutely loves them pickled. Soaking them in apple cider vinegar totally takes the “bite” out of them and gives them such great depth of flavor. They are such a great enhancement not only to these Carnitas but for any tacos or taco salads you fix.
1 large red onion, peeled thinly sliced
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tsp fine salt
1–2 TBSP honey or sugar
Heat the vinegar mixture. In a small saucepan, stir together the vinegar, water, salt and your desired amount of sweetener. Cook over medium-high heat until the mixture reaches a simmer. (Or alternately, you can heat the mixture in the microwave.)
Combine in a jar. Place the thinly-sliced onions in a lidded jar.
Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the onions, screw on the lid, and shake the onions briefly until they are evenly coated with the vinegar mixture.
Marinate. Let the onions marinate for 30 minutes. (You may need to press the onions down with a spoon so that they are all submerged under the vinegar mixture.)
Serve immediately, or refrigerate the onions in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.
Mix one bag of pre-chopped coleslaw mix with 1-2 TBSP mayo, 1-2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper and 1 TBSP lime juice.
Serve shredded pork on tortillas. Top with coleslaw, pickled red onion and cilantro and enjoy!