Perfectly seasoned and entirely delicious, this crispy roast pork is perfect to eat with everything: rice, potatoes, tostones, on a sandwich and tortillas for awesome tacos.
Growing up, we always had roasted pork on Christmas Eve. Back in my country, we would roast an entire pork on a open fire. The entire process of killing the animal, cleaning, seasoning and cooking it took days. That is the reason it was usually a dish reserved for special occasions.
Now, roasting pork has become so easy that I do not wait for special occasions to come around so that we can have it. Yes, I still cook pernil asado for Christmas Eve, mostly. However when we feel like eating carnitas, I don’t have to think twice to make a delicious roast pork, especially after my friend Alicia told me about an easier way to cook it.
Before, I used to season the meat, let it marinate overnight and then put it in the oven to cook at a low temperature for a very long time, usually an entire day. This process was rather annoying because it meant I had to be in the home all day tending to the oven to avoid having the meat burn or overcook. I mean really, who has time to spend a day watching an oven?
One day, my friends and I were chatting and the whole food and pork, and pork tacos conversation came on. After hearing me complain about the tediousness of cooking roast pork, Alicia said “do what I do. Cook it overnight in the slow cooker and when you wake up it will be done. All you have to do is make it crispy in the oven.” What?! Slow cooked and roasted pork shoulder! My friend is a genius.
I’m not a big user of the slow cooker, but it makes cooking and life so much easier that I will have to begin using it a whole lot more.
I still season the pork shoulder and let it marinate for at least 2-3 hours, preferably overnight. I feel the meat tastes better when it has marinated for a long time. Then, I place it in the slow cooker, cover it with water and let it cook on low for eight hours. The good thing about slow cookers is that you set it and forget it. No need to be checking it every couple of hours.
After eight hours, the meat should be tender. Then, carefully transfer the meat into a roasting pan and roast in the oven at 450 degrees for about an hour until it turns brown and crispy. That’s it! So simple. Shred the meat using two forks and you have carnitas for days!
I eat roast pork with almost anything: rice, bread, tostones and on tortillas to make tasty tacos. And you, my friend, can have it anyway you’d like.
- 1 (4-5 pounds) bone-in, skin-on pork shoulder
- ½ cup roughly chopped cilantro
- 12 cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- juice of 1 lime
- In a food processor, pulse together cilantro, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt, pepper, vinegar and lime juice.
- Using a pointy knife, poke holes into the pork shoulder. Rub the seasoning mixture all over the meat pushing some of the seasoning into the small holes. Cover and place in the refrigerator. Let marinate overnight.
- The next day, place the pork shoulder on the slow cooker and cover with water. Add enough water to cover at least ¾ of the meat inside the slow cooker. Cook on low for about 8 hours.
- Once the meat is tender, carefully transfer it to a roasting pan. Roast in the oven at 450 degrees until brown and crispy, about 1 hour. Take out of the oven and let rest for 15 minutes. Shred the meat using two forks.
- Serve with a side of tostones, rice or tortillas.