Pork Carnitas

One thing I love about Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine is how most dishes basically have the same ingredients, just rearranged and proportioned differently. If you have a few basics, like some flavorful, tender meat, a couple heads of lettuce, a handful of avocados, salsa, and Paleo Tortillas, you could make tacos, taco salads, lettuce wraps, stuffed avocados, or enchiladas. This pork is lightly seasoned, so you can use it in any of those dishes or with any kind of enchilada sauce or salsa. It’s a great staple to have on hand and it also freezes well.

Prep time 25 minutes
Serves 8

4- to 5-pound (1.8 to 2.2 kg) pork roast (shoulder or loin)
11/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons (29 ml) avocado oil
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
Juice from 1 large orange
Juice from 1 large lime
2 dried bay leaves
Lime wedges, for serving

1 Place the roast on a large plate. Cut off the excess fat, but don’t remove all of it. Rub the salt and pepper all over the roast.

2 In a small bowl, combine the cumin, oregano, garlic, and avocado oil to form a paste. Rub the paste all over the roast and place it fat-side up in a 6-quart (5.7 liter) slow cooker. Put the onions over the roast, squeeze the orange and lime juices over the top, and drop the bay leaves along the sides.

3 Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours for a loin roast or 7 to 8 hours for a shoulder roast. The meat should pull apart easily with a fork.

4 Preheat the oven broiler. Transfer the roast to a sheet pan and shred it into bite-sized pieces. Spread the meat evenly on the pan. Drizzle with 1/3 cup (80 ml) of the pot juices. Broil for about 10 to 15 minutes, until the edges of the bits of meat are golden brown and crisp.

5 Remove the pan from the oven, drizzle more of the pot juices over the meat, and toss it around with a pair of tongs.

6 Serve in tacos or on a salad with a wedge of lime.