Slow-Cooker Carnitas Street Tacos – Recipe! Image 1
Food, Main Courses

Slow-Cooker Carnitas Street Tacos – Recipe!

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Street Tacos are those smaller three-biter meaty filled tortillas that you buy off a taco truck, or in an authentic Mexican restaurant.  The focus is usually the filling, however the tortilla does need to be pliable with delicious corn taste.  As far as fillings go, Carnitas are hard to beat because they fulfill so many cravings inside of us, they’re savory, slightly fatty and tremendously juicy when cooked just right.

My Slow-Cooker was the vessel of my choosing, if you have some time on your hands, like on the weekends.  A good hunk of pork shoulder will take at least 6 hours to get it to shreddable status, while still keeping it tender and juicy.  A good dry rub, ingredients from your pantry, is all that’s required to create Carnitas with Mexican taste.

Searing the pork first is absolutely necessary, not only to add caramelization, but another layer of flavor that deepens the whole street taco experience.  My quick Pickled Red Onions are also necessary and take just seconds to prepare – they add a contrasting acidic pop in every bite of taco.  These Street Tacos are great to serve for ballgames, at gatherings with family and friends, and the leftovers can be transformed into other terrific meals like; huevos rancheros, pork posole and enchiladas to name a few.

Slow-Cooker Carnitas Street Tacos – Recipe! Image 2


3 1/3 pound pork shoulder

1 tablespoon salt, divided

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

2 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 red onion, sliced

2 dozen mini corn tortillas, or more


1/2 shredded cabbage, optional

lime wedges, optional

(Serves 8-10)

Slow-Cooker Carnitas Street Tacos – Recipe! Image 3

Slow-Cooker Carnitas Street Tacos – Recipe! Image 4

Slow-Cooker Carnitas Street Tacos – Recipe! Image 5

Slow-Cooker Carnitas Street Tacos – Recipe! Image 6

To Prepare:

  1. Place 2 teaspoons salt, cumin, paprika, onion powder and cayenne in a bowl, stir.  Rub on all sides of pork and let rest 20 minutes.
  2. In a slow-cooker insert or large pan, add 2 teaspoons oil and place over medium-high heat.  After 2 minutes, add pork and sear on all sides, about 10 minutes.
  3. Place pork back into cooker and cook on high for 6 hours.
  4. While pork is cooking, Add 1 cup water, vinegar and sugar into a small saucepan.  Place over high heat until boiling, stir.  Place onion in a bowl and pour hot vinegar mixture over top.  Let onions marinate until ready to serve.
  5. Remove pork and place in bowl, shred with fork.  Place insert with pork juices on stove top over medium-high heat.  Reduce juices in half, about 4 minutes.  Place insert back into cooker to keep warm and add shredded pork into juices, toss to combine.  Warm tortillas and assemble tacos.  Enjoy!


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