slow-cooker carnitas tacos with quick-pickled onions

taco 2

We skipped a season here and, although I’d like to say we went from Winter to Summer, I think we actually skipped Winter… which means All of “Winter” was actually Spring and now that the calendar claims that Spring has sprung, it’s actually Summer here.

Are you confused yet? Me too.  

Either way, we have been breaking high temp records consistently throughout the months of March and April and I don’t like it. I don’t like it one bit!  Some of you, I know, are still buried in snow. Or perhaps you had the sweet respite of a few days of sunshine, which was then followed by more snow (or possibly rain… or violent tornadoes). Through all of this, one thing is for sure. The weather gods are giving us a big figurative middle-finger.

Thanks weather gods.

taco 1

So, whether it’s warm outside or you just want to remember what it was like to be warm once, these carnitas will cure what ales you. They’re made in the slow-cooker, which means you can even make them when you’re barricaded in your house because it’s too cold (or too hot, or too wet) to go outside.

They are then adorned with pickled red onions which I personally love to put on top of literally everything – tacos, sandwiches, even salads. Seriously. If you don’t have pickled red onions in your life you are missing out. A couple cilantro sprigs and a light dusting of queso fresco give these tacos the perfect finish. However, if you wanted to go the more traditional route and top them with some shredded cheese and lettuce, they’re delicious that way too.

Feel free to round out your meal with a healthy dose of salty tortilla chips, homemade salsa, and an ice cold watermelon margarita and put yourself on your way to your own personal fiesta.

slow-cooker carnitas tacos with quick-pickled onions


    For the pork:
  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 3/4 cup salsa
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chiles in adobo
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • For pickled onions
  • 1 small or 1/2 large red onion, sliced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • For tacos
  • Tortillas
  • Cotija cheese
  • Cilantro


    Cook the pork
  1. Place the pork, juices, salsa, and chipotle into a crock pot. Sprinkle pork with salt and spices. Cook on low for 10 hours, until the pork falls apart when poked with a fork.
  2. Remove pork from cooking liquid and chop or shred. If desired, transfer cooking liquid to a saucepan on the stovetop. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low, simmering until the liquid is reduced by half.
  3. Toss shredded pork with sauce and set aside.
  4. Make the onions
  5. While the pork is cooking, mix the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar together. Stir until salt and sugar are dissolved.
  6. Add onions and cover, let sit for at least 1 hour.
  7. To serve
  8. Top warm tortilla with shredded pork, onions, cilantro, and queso fresco. Enjoy!

[ Recipe adapted from What’s Gaby Cooking ]

One thought on “slow-cooker carnitas tacos with quick-pickled onions

  1. mr. table, while i’ve been here in Florida, has lived off of leftover ham and hasselback potatoes from Easter. like literally that’s all he’s eaten. he deserves these when i get back (as do i, thank you.)

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