Mama’s Carnitas

Total Time

Prep: 25 min. Cook: 9 hours


16 servings

Updated: Aug. 22, 2023
My husband loves to cook Mexican dishes, while I'm more of an Italian-style cook. The joke in our house is that I should leave all the Mexican cooking to him. However, this dish of mine turned out so amazing that my husband fell in love! It's all in the meat. If you can get an all-natural pork shoulder, it really makes a difference. —Chelsea Wickman, Painesville, Ohio


  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 bone-in pork shoulder roast (5 to 7 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 Anaheim peppers, seeded and diced
  • 16 flour tortillas (8 inches)
  • 1 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese


  1. In a small bowl, combine the first 9 ingredients. Cut roast in half; rub all sides with spice mixture. Place in a 5-qt. slow cooker coated with cooking spray. Combine the pineapple juice, soy sauce, stock, lime juice and peppers; pour around meat.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 9-11 hours or until meat is tender.
  3. Remove meat from slow cooker; skim fat from cooking juices. When cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones; discard bones. Shred meat and return to slow cooker; heat through.
  4. With a slotted spoon, spoon 1/2 cup filling off center on each tortilla. Top each with 1 tablespoon creme fraiche and 2 tablespoons cheese. Fold sides and ends over filling and roll up.

Can you freeze Mama's Carnitas?

Place shredded pork in freezer containers; top with juices. Cool and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a covered saucepan, stirring occasionally; add broth or water if necessary.

Peppers (Hot)
Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.

Nutrition Facts

1 filled tortilla: 494 calories, 26g fat (12g saturated fat), 97mg cholesterol, 758mg sodium, 31g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 2g fiber), 32g protein.