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Cookin' ATVS Style: Cinco de Mayo Pork Carnitas

It’s everybody’s favorite pseudo-Mexican holiday, you might as well celebrate with some good food.

Billy Gomila

This is a wonderful make-ahead dish if you're in the mood to celebrate Gringo de Mayo. We did a version of this a year ago, but I've always thought I could do better. So I looked through a couple of different recipes and then improvised this one. It's still all done in a crock pot, but I ditched the dried arbol chills, which I don't thing added much, with more of a dry rub, and some jalapenos mixed in.


Seasoning rub

1/4 cup granulated garlic
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp red chili flakes
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp kosher salt

5-6 lbs pork shoulder roast
1 large white onion, sliced
3 small/medium jalapenos, seeded and diced
Juice and zest of two limes
Juice of one large navel orange


1.       Combine the rub ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

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2.       Wash and dry the pork butt well, then coat with the seasoning and rub in well.

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3.       Place in the crock pot. Zest the limes over the roast, then pour the juices of the limes and the orange over it. Add the onions and jalapenos over the top of the roast and along the sides.

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Pro Tip for dealing with the tricky peppers -- use a teaspoon to scrape out the ribs and seeds. Easier to avoid getting any of that capsaicin oil on your fingers, which is never any fun.

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4.       Cover and cook for about 8 hours on high, or 12 on low.

5.       When done, you should have a healthy amount of au jus from the drippings mixed with the juice. Use a couple of long forks and shred the meat as best you can, making sure that it all gets combined with the smothered onions and peppers well.

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6.       Before serving, use some tongs and pull some of the meat out and place it on a cookie sheet. Run it under a broiler for a few minutes to give the meat some good crisp. Serve as you like be it in tacos or burritos. Great with some fresh guacamole.

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A butt of this size should serve almost 10 people comfortably.