Keto carnitas

Keto carnitas

Carnitas are great for feeding a crowd. Roast or smoke the pork or cook it in a slow cooker for busy days. Just be sure to follow the final step of browning the meat in some of the roasting juices. The browned bits are where the magic happens.

Keto carnitas

Carnitas are great for feeding a crowd. Roast or smoke the pork or cook it in a slow cooker for busy days. Just be sure to follow the final step of browning the meat in some of the roasting juices. The browned bits are where the magic happens.
USMetric
10 servingservings

Ingredients

  • 5 lbs 2.3 kg pork shoulder
  • 2 tbsp 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp 1 tsp salt
  • 1 oz. 28 g fresh or pickled jalapeños
  • 1 1 orange, zest and juiceoranges, zest and juice
  • 1 1 lime, the juicelimes, the juice
  • 1 1 lemon, the juicelemons, the juice
  • 2 oz. 55 g coconut oil (optional)
  • 1 (4 oz.) 1 (110 g) yellow onion, slicedyellow onions, sliced (optional)
  • 2 (10 oz.) 2 (280 g) green bell pepper, slicedgreen bell peppers, sliced (optional)
Serving
  • 5 (2¼ lbs) 5 (1 kg) avocado, dicedavocados, diced
  • 4 (1 lb) 4 (450 g) tomato, dicedtomatoes, diced
  • 1½ oz. 45 g fresh or pickled jalapeños
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) 240 ml (110 g) cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup 240 ml sour cream
  • ½ cup (¼ oz.) 120 ml (8 g) fresh cilantro, chopped
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Instructions

  1. Mix the dry spices and rub them on the meat. Place the meat fatty side up into a slow cooker, and add the remaining seasonings.
  2. Sprinkle jalapeños over the pork shoulder. Pour fresh orange zest and juice, lime juice and lemon juice, over the pork. Cook on low in the slow cooker for 10-12 hours or overnight.
  3. When the meat is tender, remove it from the slow cooker and chop into smaller chunks. Reserve the drippings and add to a pot. Over medium high heat, reduce drippings in half.
  4. Optional step: Warm the coconut oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Sauté the onions and peppers until tender, and set aside in a bowl.
  5. Add some of the reduced drippings to the pan. Once drippings are hot, add pork, and fry until the pieces are browned and crispy. Continue this process until all pork is fried. Getting the meat crisped up is really important in making it so delicious!
  6. Serve with avocado, tomato, jalapeño, shredded cheese, sour cream. Don’t forget the fresh cilantro!

Tip

Dice up some limes and squeeze lime juice over each serving!

Recommended special equipment

Slow cooker.

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19 comments

  1. Endre
    What is the oven equivalent temperature of the crock pot low setting? (Fahrenheit/Celsius)
  2. Karen
    I live in Spain now & struggle to find an equivalent to pork shoulder - which I love to slow roast. Do you know what I should look for?
  3. Angel
    This had really nice flavor but the pork was falling apart (in a good way!) when I took it out of the crockpot, making it nearly impossible to brown it easily. While the browned bits were nice, in the end I felt like it made the meat way too heavy/greasy and muted the really nice spices. I'll skip that step next time and just serve it right out of the crockpot.
    Reply: #4
  4. Seth
    Here’s how you crisp up carnitas. Shred the meat and transfer it to a oven-compatible pan using a strainer or skimmer spoon to avoid transferring the liquid. Put the meat under the broiler for a few minutes until it crisps up. The meat will stay moist because of the high fat content. You can also brown it on the stove. You can serve it with/in the liquid (my favorite) or use the liquid for something else (preferable for filling tacos).

    PS Don’t omit the juice from the orange as the sugars are (unfortunately) essential for getting that classic crispness of carnitas.

  5. Lesley
    How many onions? How many peppers? These are in the method but not listed in the ingredients.
  6. MIKE J SIEGMAN
    What is the oven method? Time and temp???
  7. kathryn
    I cooked the pork in the crock pot, followed the recipe and it is delicious!! A hit in my household.
  8. cherylhulon
    If you use a boneless pork shoulder would you use a smaller roast?
    Reply: #9
  9. Kerry Merritt Team Diet Doctor

    If you use a boneless pork shoulder would you use a smaller roast?

    The same size should be fine.

  10. Aileen
    Im really liking this, made it ovenight and having it for lunch.
    Reply: #11
  11. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Im really liking this, made it ovenight and having it for lunch.

    Glad you are enjoying it! Carnitas are one of my family's favorites as well.

  12. kathryn
    Once again a great recipe from diet doctor! I've made Carnitas a couple of times and never could get a good crisp on the pork. But cooking the liquor down from the crock pot and using that to crisp up the meat was perfect. Thank you D.D.
    Reply: #13
  13. Crystal Pullen Team Diet Doctor

    Once again a great recipe from diet doctor! I've made Carnitas a couple of times and never could get a good crisp on the pork. But cooking the liquor down from the crock pot and using that to crisp up the meat was perfect. Thank you D.D.

    I am so glad you enjoyed this one! My family loves it so much that I tend to make 10lbs at a time :)

  14. J
    Very good and easy to make. Could not get the meat to brown using the directions. Is there a step missing to show us how to crisp the meat?
    Reply: #15
  15. Kerry Merritt Team Diet Doctor

    Very good and easy to make. Could not get the meat to brown using the directions. Is there a step missing to show us how to crisp the meat?

    Check out Step #5! "Add some of the reduced drippings to the pan. Once drippings are hot, add pork, and fry until the pieces are browned and crispy. Continue this process until all pork is fried. Getting the meat crisped up is really important in making it so delicious!"

  16. Linda
    The recipe never says what to do with the optional onions and bell peppers. Just cook them and put them in a bowl. I'm planning to mix them in with the meat after I crisp it up because that's what makes the most sense to me, fwiw.
    Reply: #17
  17. Kerry Merritt Team Diet Doctor

    The recipe never says what to do with the optional onions and bell peppers. Just cook them and put them in a bowl. I'm planning to mix them in with the meat after I crisp it up because that's what makes the most sense to me, fwiw.

    They can be used as topping, or mixing them in with the meat is a good choice!

  18. Molly
    Why are the carbs so high compare to other carnita recipes online. Is it because it includes the avocado and sour cream?
    Reply: #19
  19. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Why are the carbs so high compare to other carnita recipes online. Is it because it includes the avocado and sour cream?

    Yes, plus the tomatoes. There are a few other vegetables included in our recipe, like bell pepper that are not always included in carnitas recipes.

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