Street Style Crispy Carnitas Tacos
Street Style Crispy Carnitas Tacos. Tender and juicy pork that is slow cooked in the crockpot with Mexican flavors of cumin and orange, then broiled in the oven for just 15 minutes before serving to get them crispy.
It was Christmas in our mailbox the other day.
We got a coupon from Chipotle for 1 free burrito, burrito bowl or tacos. Free! No strings attached.
Even better? No one is living in the house next to ours, but the mailman still delivers all the “junk” mail to the mailbox. So of course I went in that mailbox and took their Chipotle coupon for myself. Dinner for Shawn and I for free!
We headed down to Chipotle with our 2 free coupons. Along with EVERY OTHER PERSON IN TOWN! The line was out the door. But when you get that Chiptole craving, no line is too long.
To keep Josh entertained in the stroller, I handed him the 2 coupons to hold. It was so cute. About 20 minutes later, we’re almost to the front of the line. I go to grab the coupons from Josh, and there is only 1. Gah!
I said out loud, “Oh no Josh, where did the other coupon go?” Silly me for giving our precious coupons to a 5 month old. I turned around to check the floor, hoping I dropped it. The guy behind us looked a little guilty, then held it up.
“I saw it on the floor. I didn’t know who it belonged to. Here you go…”
So nice of him! Our free dinner was back on. That carnitas burrito bowl tasted extra good since it cost $0.
But to be honest, Chipotle’s carnitas having nothing on my homemade crispy carnitas. They taste way better. And I’m a carnitas snob.
This recipe seems like it should be complicated, but it is really simple. The slow cooker and the oven do all the work for you.
I start the carnitas out in the slow cooker along with chicken broth, fresh orange, lime juice, cumin and oregano. It slow cooks all day to get tender, juicy and flavorful.
You could actually stop right there.
Carnitas taste even better crisped up. Crispy is always better.
I reduce the cooking liquid so the flavor is ultra concentrated, add it back to the meat, spread it on a baking sheet, and broil it for about 15 minutes. I don’t turn the carnitas so the meat doesn’t get too dried out. It stays juicy and flavorful, with a satisfying crispy top.
I love these carnitas served in tacos. These street style ones are exactly how I had them the last time we were in Mexico. Really simple with chopped white onion, fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.
When the carnitas are this tasty, you don’t need to add much to the tacos.
Street Style Crispy Carnitas Tacos
- 4- pound boneless pork butt, also called pork shoulder, huge fat caps cut away, cut into 2" chunks (I get my chicken from ButcherBox, which I highly recommend)
- 1/2 yellow onion, skin removed, cut into 2 equal halves
- 1 orange, cut in half
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons lime juice, from 1 or 2 limes
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- warmed tortillas, chopped white onion, chopped cilantro and lime wedges for serving
- In your slow cooker, combine the cut up pork butt, onion, orange, chicken stock, lime juice, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and cover. Cook over low for 6-8 hours, or high for 4-6 hours.
- Gently remove the cooked pork butt from the slow cooker, it is going to be very tender. Transfer it to a plate, and break each chunk in half with a fork.
- Strain the cooking liquid from the slow cooker. Discard the solids. Allow the cooking liquid to sit for 5 minutes, then spoon the fat off the top. Boil the cooking liquid over high heat until it is reduced by half to 1 cup.
- While the cooking liquid is reducing, turn your broiler on High with the oven rack in the middle. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium size mixing bowl, add the carnita meat and toss with the reduced cooking liquid. Transfer the meat to the parchment lined baking sheet.
- Broil for 10-15 minutes until the meat is crispy. No need to turn it. Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool a minute or two.
- Serve the carnita meat in the taco tortillas topped with chopped onion and cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.
More Taco Recipes
Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Tacos
Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing
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35 Comments on “Street Style Crispy Carnitas Tacos”
I’ve made your instant pot version of this and it was fantastic. Then my instant pot broke. Santa hints that a new one is likely to appear at Christmas – but I have a pork butt now and am craving the yumminess so I hauled out my crock pot.
Question: For the instant pot version you don’t reduce the liquid (a step adding time and more greasy dishes). Did you find it wasn’t needed or is there something different about how the liquid cooks down in the instant pot? Thanks!
Hope you get a new instant pot soon! After testing the recipe further, I found you didn’t need to reduce the liquid. Just adding it on to the shredded pork before broiling was good enough! And it cut down in dishes. I need to update these recipe instructions for the slow cooker version! Thanks for the reminder!
I love all of your recipes, but this is one of my all time favourites! Absolutely delicious! Note: do not skip reducing the liquid and broiling. It makes for the MOST incredible flavour and texture!
Aww, thank you, Erika! You’re so sweet! This is one of my favorites too!
This recipe is amazing. Tastes like something from a restaurant. I’m doing a Whole 30, so I ate mine over cauliflower rice with a squeeze of lime. SO GOOD!!!
I love that they tasted restaurant quality to you Andrea! That is fantastic. Serving it over cauliflower rice with a squeeze of lime sounds delicious.
This is such a wonderful recipe!! We made it on Sunday so we could enjoy while watching football! The game didn’t go our way- but these definitely helped dull the pain!! This will definitely be on regular rotation! I used bone-in pork butt and it was soo flavorful!!
Yeah! I am so happy you liked my carnitas Sam! There is nothing better than a cozy football Sunday. So sorry the game didn’t go your way though!
Hi there – How much chicken stock? It doesn’t mention an amount.
You would use 2 cups of chicken stock for the carnitas Rebekah. I sure hope you like them!
I have a pork tenderloin in the freezer, do you think I could use that instead of the butt?
Yes I think pork tenderloin would also work Jen. Pork tenderloin is lean so it won’t get as crispy because it lacks the fat. You would still follow the same instructions with the recipe. I think it would be delicious though!
How do your instant pot carnitas and your slow cooker carnitas have almost the exact same ingredients, but the instant pot carnitas have 5.9 grams of carbs per serving, and the slow cooker version has 34.6 grams of carbs per serving?
Thanks for the question Jennifer. The slow cooker carnitas include 8 tortillas and the instant pot carnitas do not. I sure hope this answers your question!
So good! Such a nice smell all day. My toddlers both enjoyed this.
I am so happy you liked my carnitas Amy. Don’t they smell fantastic when they are cooking? That is so great that your toddlers liked them!
Delish! I made it with beef instead of pork, but it still worked perfectly. Orange and time really made it citrusy!
I am so glad you liked my carnitas tacos Lauren! That is fantastic that the recipe worked well with beef too! Thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate it.
these were DELICIOUS! i’ve never had carnitas before but we got a free pork butt from butcher box & i knew this was what to make from it!
So glad you liked the carnitas Jessica! That is a fantastic way to use your pork butt. Lucky gal to get a free one from Butcher Box!
Such an easy recipe that tastes amazing and makes great leftovers! I cooked it on high for about 4.5 hrs and couldn’t be happier with it. Will definitely make this again.
Yeah! I am so glad you liked these and will be making them again. Thanks for sharing Susan!
I don’t see a measurement for the chicken stock either so I’m just making it with 2 cups
Yes, 2 cups? Looking to make this while I am hunkering down.
Natalie – Please advise!
Yes the chicken stock is 2 cups. I apologize for any confusion. I sure hope you enjoy these.
There isn’t a measurement for the chicken stock. I’m assuming it’s 2 cups?
Oh my gosh, yum! I want free Chipotle!! Although, your carnitas looks way better. Anything homemade always is. :) And I love anything in the crock pot!! You just reminded me that I still have a free In N Out burger coupon that I keep forgetting to use, so I think I may know what’s for dinner!
Oh I wish I got one of those coupons! Chipotle is the best! I have lost a coupon or two to children’s hands (also an atm card- not a good decision on my part). But I love all the flavors in your homemade carnitas, and they look amazing!
Free food is the best! :) But these tacos do look better than any I could order out. I love that you crisped the meat up after slow cooking it!
I love that you tossed the carnitas in the oven to crisp up after slow cooking all day! I can just imagine how tender and flavorful this is! Totally better than Chipotle’s! :)
I want these NOW! I make mine similar in the crockpot but never take the extra step. I guess I need to! I like the idea of some crispy tacos. I miss Chipotle!! I wish it would come to Europe.
I made them tonight for Cinco de Mayo and they are better than I remember! And I would miss Chipotle too. I live like 5 minutes from the one off Crow Canyon. It’s a lifesaver in a pinch!
Chipotle is pretty much the best EVER! And I agree, no line is too long! I think these tacos could give them a run for their money, though. Love that you made these in the crock pot! So perfect for Cinco de Mayo!
Thanks Gayle! I actually made them tonight for Cinco de Mayo. Taco night perfection!
Is it two cups of chicken stock or 2 cans?