Carnitas Soft Tacos

Wow the crowd with these delicious pork carnitas tacos. Using the slow cooker makes the process easy.

Carnitas Soft Tacos

One of my favorite childhood memories is going to Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles and eating at La Luz del Dia, the restaurant on the corner of the plaza. The carnitas soft tacos are sooooo delicious. To this day, my brothers know how to make their big sister happy. On their way through LA, they cruise by and pick up a pound of carnitas and a stack of corn tortillas.

Carnitas means “little meats” in Spanish. It is a seasoned, roasted shredded pork filling used for tacos. So good!

Though I consider “Olvera Street carnitas” to be the gold standard of shredded pork tacos, I do make an equivalent of sorts at home. It’s cheaper, that’s for sure, and a little easier to achieve than a drive to the City of Angels. Though “carnitas purists” may disagree, you can make this in your crockpot for a simple and delicious dinner.

This same meat goes super well atop Tostadas or inside taquitos.

Tools I use for this recipe:

  • a 7-quart oval slow cooker
  • 9×13 Pyrex pan
  • Ergo Chef chef’s knife
  • plastic cutting boards
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    Do you have a favorite taco memory?

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    1. I do have a favorite taco memory – in high school we went to Tulum, Mexico and had the most phenomenal fish tacos I’ve ever eaten. They are the standard by which I judge fish tacos. Simple, fresh and delicious.

    2. Are the tortillas homemade? They look yummy too!

    3. Just had these tonight! Everyone loved the meat so much- delicious! Next time, I think I’ll use flour tortillas. I’m sure that’s less authentic… but it seems to be the preference of every one of us. 😉

      • @JessieLeigh, glad you liked it. And, no flour tortillas are not authentic, but neither are store-bought corn tortillas. So, I’m glad you’re gonna go with what suits your tastes. When you someday come visit us, we’ll make homemade corn tortillas for you. 😉

    4. I used to think oregano only went in Italian dishes, but when I make my homemade salsa or refried beans, I do add oregano in addition to the cumin, salt and olive oil.

      • There are several varieties of oregano, including Mexican and French, so that is probably where the confusion comes in.

        • @Jessica,
          I always think carnitas- my favorite mexican food- have some secret seasoning on the pork. Do you really only use oregano?

          • Jessica says:

            Yes, just be very generous with the salt and pepper. The onion and oregano along with the fat of the meat add tons of flavor.

    5. PS I am drooling over the guacamole.

    6. Brooke Kingston says:

      We have made this three times now, and it is a HUGE hit! So easy, flavorful and fast to put together. Thank you for the great permanent rotation recipe. It’s divine!

    7. Michelle says:

      Hi Jessica…I love reading your blog and have just bought your cookbook. I am currently trying to use up the meat that I have in the freezer. Have you ever tried using a different cut of pork to make the carnitas? I don’t have a roast, but I have boneless country style pork ribs. Do you think that would work also?

    8. Claudia Ruiz Esparza says:

      You are preparing an excellent recipe instead of The traditional one. Sometimes we in México add half a can of a light beer and it provides a flavor that really hora well with the carnitas !

    9. Is 1/4 cup water enough? I plan to leave the roast all day while at work. I’m not an experienced cook…so I don’t wanna burn the house down! Your recipes are great!! Thanks for helping busy moms!!

    10. OK, I have a dumb question. What size crock pot do you use? Thanks!


    1. […] Cooker Meal: Carnitas Tostadas (You’ll also need to print the recipes for Carnitas, Guacamole, and […]

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