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Pork Carnitas That Will Make Your Mouth Sing (Also Known As How To Feed 10 People In 1 Hour With The Help Of A Crock Pot)

In the early years of our marriage it was not at all unusual for my precious INTP husband to have the fabulous idea of hosting a lot of really hungry people approximately 15 minutes before the suggested meal would need to be on the table. Clearly, I married him because he’s fun and  spontaneous like that, but the ESFJ in me is also rather fond of a plan.

These days, we still enjoy hosting people in our home, but know that it takes a bit more forethought, so we’ve tried to get it down to a science so that with a day’s notice we can feed the hungry people something other than Little Caesars.

By far, the best thing that’s come out of my crockpot this week was the pork carnitas we made on Monday. This recipe is simple to prepare and has flavor for days. So, next time you need to prepare a meal of the masses, or just want leftovers to freeze, here ya go.

Pork Carnitas That Will Make Your Mouth Sing

(Also Known As How To Feed 10 People In 1 Hour With The Help Of A Crock Pot)

pork carnitas2


  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt, or more, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2.5-4 pound pork shoulder, excess fat trimmed
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 limes
  • 1 jalepeno seeded and diced


  • Rinse and dry the pork shoulder.
  • Salt and pepper liberally.
  • In a small bowl, combine olive oil, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Season pork shoulder with spice mixture, rubbing in thoroughly on all sides.
  • Place seasoned pork shoulder, garlic, onions, orange juice with orange peels, lime juice with lime peels, jalepeno and into a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 8 hours or high for 4-5 hours.
  • Once the meat is tender, remove pork shoulder from the slow cooker and shred the meat then return to the pot with the juices; season with salt and pepper, to taste, as needed. Cover and keep warm for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to broil. Place carnitas onto an aluminum foil lined baking sheet and broil until crisp and crusted, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Serve immediately with avocado, *lots of lime juice* (key to making your mouth sing!!) and crumbled goat cheese. These also make UNBELIEVABLE quesadillas. We ate them as leftovers and were delighted that the next night they were even yummier!

1 Hour Timetable:

Enlist helpers to cut these times and delegate dessert to a guest! People love to bring something.

Prep meat and have cooking in crockpot by noon (only takes about 10 minutes)

  • Tidy living space + wipe downbathroom-10 min. Shauna Niequist has a wonderful keynote talk about hospitality that you should totally listen to! In it, she says her main advice for cleaning before company arrives is to grab the baby wipes and a laundry basket then fry a pound of bacon. In other words, wipe away anything sticky or icky, toss anything that would trip or injure a guest (LEGOS!) and create a wonderful aroma in the air that says, “oh, I’ve been planning on you coming for days…” So tidy! And make it quick.
  • Set out chips, salsa and cheese dip-3 min People will want something easy to much on because though they are excited, often they are a tad nervous to come over.
  • Pull meat-2 min
  • Slice limes + slice and peel avocados-5 min
  • Crumble goat cheese-2 min
  • Warm beans + Rice-5 min Any can of refried beans will do and if you want my opinion the Seeds of Change 7 Whole Grain microwavable rice pouches from Walmart are amazing.
  • Mix salad-5 min I use the “Kale Yeah” pre-prepared salad bags from Walmart. The Southwest Salad Kit is amazing with these carnitas. It’s more of a slaw than anything and it’s so good!
  • Warm tortillas-5 min
  • Prep drinks-8 min 
  • Broil Meat-3 min
  • Set table + put food on serving pieces-10 min 

If you want to get real fancy you could have a jar filled with conversation starters or you could play our favorite dinner party game. The sky is the limit, but if you have an hour to make it happen (and you had enough warning to get the meat in the crock pot!) Then you can make it happen!! Woot!

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pork carnitas