Slow-Cooked Carnitas Tacos with Quick Pickled Onions

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Okay, so here we go on something that is full of meat and does not count as a soup.  I feel it is necessary to say that this meal does not photograph well, but I promise you that it is still worth trying.  As I have mentioned, I am a “recovering vegetarian”, but this is a dish of meat that I have been known to eat just over rice… that’s it, meat and rice.  That should say something.  Does it?

This recipe for Slow-Cooked Carnitas Tacos from Epicurious is so amazing simple, it is just perfect for busy lives.  You get the ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning and do not need to think about it again until dinnertime.  When you start this recipe in the morning, all you need are five ingredients (three of which you already have in the pantry).  As long as you make sure to buy an onion and some pork (plus salt, pepper, and oregano), you are ready…  (you can grab the rest of the ingredients on the way home from work, or preschool pick-up or something).  Be sure to make the pickled onions though.  They add crunch and a big flavor punch.

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Step 1:

Slow-Cooked Carnitas Tacos

originally published in Bon Appetit 2008, serves 4
  • 2 pounds boneless country-style pork ribs, pork shoulder (Boston butt), or pork tenderloin, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
  • 1/2 large onion, cut into 4 pieces

preparation

Toss pork in bowl of slow cooker with salt, black pepper, and dried oregano to coat. Place onion pieces atop pork. Cover slow cooker and cook pork on low setting until meat is very tender and falling apart, about 6 hours.

Using slotted spoon, transfer pork to cutting board. Discard onion pieces. Using fingers, shred pork; transfer carnitas to platter.

Step 2:

Quick Pickled Onions

  • 1/4 red onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water

preparation

Mix vinegar, salt and sugar until dissolved.  Add onions, stir.  Add enough water to cover onions.  Ideally the onions will sit in marinade for at least 1/2 hour, but onion’s taste will improve with time in refrigerator, lasting 5 days.

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As with any taco, add the things you like…  Our favorites are rice, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, pickled onions (recipe above), avocado slices, cilantro sprigs, cabbage, pickled jalapenos, sliced red bell peppers, hot sauce and/or lime.  We added cilantro and lime to our rice as well to add a bit of flavor…

Wrap tortillas in damp kitchen towel; microwave until warm, about 1 minute. Serve carnitas with warm tortillas.

Enjoy!

Step 3:

Taco Assembly:

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2 thoughts on “Slow-Cooked Carnitas Tacos with Quick Pickled Onions

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