Foolproof Carnitas

Tacos are a crowd favorite, especially as the weather begins to heat up and you are looking for a quick fix for the family dinner. This recipe is easily doubled to feed a larger crowd for an outdoor hangout. It’s a foolproof carnitas recipe that doesn’t disappoint, so don’t be surprised if you end up being crowned as taco royalty.


3 pounds boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt)

1 tablespoon (heaping) kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 pound pork belly, cut into 1-inch pieces

3 dried ancho chilies

3 dried guajillo chilies

Season pork shoulder with salt, pepper and brown sugar. Place pork shoulder, pork belly and dried chilies in the slow cooker; cook on low for 8 hours.

Shred pork with fork.

Transfer half of pork and pan juices to a large skillet, preferably nonstick, and cook over high until liquid evaporates and pork begins to fry in its rendered fat. Fry, stirring occasionally and pressing on pork with spoon to break up, until browned and just beginning to crisp, 5-10 minutes. Most of the pieces should be super crisp with soft bits in the mix. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Cover with foil to keep warm and moist. Repeat with remaining pork.

Serve carnitas with tortillas, onion, limes, avocado and cilantro.

Serves 4.

Amanda Elliott is the chef at Peachtree Catering in Columbia. She also authors the website

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