Mexican Pork Roast &/Or Crockpot Carnitas

Total Time
Prep 24 hrs
Cook 3 hrs

I was fed this (or something like it) by a fantastic Mexican lady a few months ago. I tried to piece together the recipe based on what she told me (in Spanish) was in it- but she gave me no amounts and no specific directions. My kind of cooking! All the ingredients can be adjusted, to taste. You can marinate this and cook it as a roast, or you can cook it in the crockpot with the marinade. If you start out as a roast, you can just throw leftovers in the crock for carnitas the next day (or freeze it and Crock it weeks later!).

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 pork shoulder, bone-in roast, 3-10 lbs
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 12 cup milk
  • 1 12 cups chicken stock (for basting) or 1 12 cups beef stock (for basting)
  • 1 teaspoon adobo seasoning (Goya or something similar)
  • 5 -6 garlic cloves (chopped, minced, or jarred)
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon steak seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 2 jalapenos, sliced


  1. If preparing as a roast:.
  2. Place roast in a bowl large enough to hold it plus several cups of liquid (marinade).
  3. Grind/blend together all ingredients (except jalapenos and pork) in a blender, immersion blender, mini chopper, or food processor. When mixed and well-blended, pour over pork. The marinade should almost cover the pork- if it doesn't, add more OJ and milk until it's almost covered.
  4. Cover and marinate the pork in the fridge for 12-24 hours. Turn every few hours.
  5. When ready to cook the piggy, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  6. Place pork in a greased (or PAM'd) roasting pan (I sometimes use a roasting rack inside a pan) with the fatty side UP.
  7. Bake pork at 400 until the top gets crispy and brown.
  8. Once the top has browned, cover the roast with foil and place back in the oven. Depending on how you like to cook your meat, you could lower the temp slightly for a longer cooking time.
  9. Baste the roast every 30 minutes or so to help infuse it with deliciousness (optional).
  10. Cooking time will vary widely depending on the size of your roast. I usually get a 10-lb roast, which takes 2-3 hours usually to cook.
  11. Once your roast is at your ideal temp (145*-160*), take from the oven.
  12. If you'd like to serve it as a roast now, let it rest for 15 or 20 minutes and then slice it. It will be fairly tender but should hold together well for slicing.
  13. Leftovers freeze well! Just throw any leftovers (including the bone) into the crockpot on low with a few sliced jalapenos, shred with 2 forks, and you'll have carnitas! I serve my carnitas with pan-fried corn tortillas, chopped red onion, cilantro, and a lime wedge.
  14. ***If you're planning on starting this in the crockpot for Carnitas, you will not need to add the whole amount of liquids. This roast is very fatty and will create a lot of its own juice. Pour the marinade in to the crock, leaving 3 or 4 inches clear at the top. Add sliced jalapenos (if desired). Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours until cooked and falling apart. Shred with 2 forks, throw the bone away, and enjoy!***.
Most Helpful

I thought this roast was really good. I had about a 6 pound roast and shredded half for carnitas and used the other half in Pozole (#59367.) The kid and DP both liked it too. I'm not sure what the milk is for in the marinade, it seemed a little weird but worked out great. I'll probably make this again.

Andrea in AK November 07, 2011

I really liked the flexability of this recipe. I chose to roast my pork shoulder. The next day, I reheated the pork and shredded it for use in corn tortillas. Thanks.

LifeIsGood January 05, 2011