Carnitas Bowls

Customize your bowls with your favorite taco bar condiments! Sub out the pork for brisket or chicken.

Course Mains
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Marta Rivera


  • 3 tbsp Mexican Spice Blend link in post
  • juice of 3 limes
  • 3-4 lbs boneless Boston butt pork roast cut in large chunks
  • 3 tbsp lard or vegetable oil
  • 1 large white onion peeled and chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1 serrano chili pepper seeded and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 bottle dark Mexican beer or chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp Mexican Spice blend
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large mango peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 bunch cilantro chopped


  • Cilantro-lime rice
  • Borracho beans link in post
  • pico de gallo
  • guacamole
  • cheeses
  • chopped veggies
  • sauces


  1. In a large glass or plastic bowl, marinate the pork pieces by tossing them into the first measurement of Mexican Spice Blend and the lime juice. Make sure the pork is fully coated. Allow to marinate for at least 3 hours or, preferably, overnight.
  2. In a large cast iron skillet, heat the lard until it is melted and small drop of water jumps when dropped into it. Add the marinated pork pieces in small batches and sear*. You don't want to cook the pork through, instead you want to caramelize the meat. Remove the pork from the skillet with a slotted spoon and allow to drain on a paper-lined plate. Continue this process in small batches until you have seared all of the meat.
  3. After removing the last batch of meat from the pan, allow the pan to return to temperature and add the onions, both peppers, and garlic. Sauté until the veggies have caramelized*.
  4. Deglaze the pan by adding the beer (or chicken stock) and scraping off the bits of food that have stuck to the bottom during the searing process.
  5. Into a crockpot, place the seared pork, followed by the vegetable/beer pan mixture. Add the spices, mango, the tomato sauce, and the bay leaf. Stir to combine.
  6. Turn the slow cooker on to high and cook for 4 hours. Alternatively, you can cook it on low for 8 hours.
  7. Once the cooking time has elapsed, carefully remove the large chunks of meat and the bay leaf (discarding the bay leaf) with tongs or a slotted spoon to a serving platter.
  8. Using an immersion blender (or after carefully transferring the liquid to a blender- and working with the lid vented to prevent an explosion) blend the cooking liquid until smooth.
  9. Shred or cut the meat into bite-sized pieces and stir it back into the liquid. Serve, as desired, in bowls.

*see notes section*

Recipe Notes

searing: is the dry-heat cooking method of cooking a cut of meat rapidly and at a very high heat to extract a deeper flavor in the overall dish. During the searing process the surface of the meat undergoes a chemical change in which the proteins, when they are introduced to high heat (such as a cast iron skillet or pan) causes the sugars in the meat to caramelize thus creating a depth of flavor and a deep color that is desirable when cooking meats.

caramelize: the process of browning sugars in a food by exposing it to heat