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  • Writer's pictureKimberly H. Morris

Carnitas and Spice Rub (tacos)

Carnitas is Mexican for braised or roasted pork served shredded. I love these as tacos or served as a sandwich or on a bed of cauliflower rice.

Tacos with red cabbage, cilantro, carnitas, lime juice and a little sour cream on pink background
Colorful tacos

Serves 12-15 people, Prep 15 minutes, Cooking 6-8 hours


  • 4–5 pounds pork shoulder (Boston Butt) or tenderloin

Spice Mixture

  • 5 cloves garlic minced

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon each: cumin, chili powder, black pepper, oregano, onion powder and garlic powder

  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • juice of 2 limes

  • 1/2 cup orange juice

  • 1/2 cup salsa

  • optional cilantro, avocado and pickled onions


  1. In a slow cooker (crock pot), add Boston butt

  2. Pour orange juice, salsa and lime juice in slow cooker

  3. Add spice mixture

  4. Cover and keep on low setting, and enjoy the smell all day (6-8 hours)

  5. 1 hour before serving, pull apart meat with two forks

  6. Optional: when ready to serve, put on a pan an broil for 5-7 minutes, add extra sauce from crock pot to keep moist

For Serving optional

  • Fresh cilantro, avocado, and lime juice. Pickled onions

Why do you call a pork shoulder a Boston Butt? The meat is from the hog shoulder. Pre-revolutionary New Englanders would store and transport the meat in a barrel called a Butt. The shoulder cut became popular and known as the Boston Butt.

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