I've made carnitas a number of times. To be totally honest, I'm not exactly sure what authentic carnitas is supposed to taste like. However, in my experiments I've found I like it to have a strong citrus bite with a hint of heat. In addition, it should be exceptionally tender with a little charring. Here's my perfected carnitas recipe.
You will need:
4-5 pound pork shoulder, with our without the bone
2 tablespoons of cumin
2 teaspoons of coriander
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
2 teaspoons chili powder
7.5 oz can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
5 cloves of garlic
1 cup of fresh salsa
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
Chopped cilantro and green onion for garnish
Take your pork shoulder and make several deep cuts into the meat. This will allow the citrus base to really get inside the meat. Put the pork in the bottom of a 6 quart slow cooker. If you have a bone in shoulder, cut the meat so it mostly covers the bottom of the slow cooker. This way the added liquid will be able to completely cover it. Add the cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and chili powder, rubbing into the meat and getting the spices inside the deep cuts you just made. Dump in the entire can of chipotle peppers and adobo sauce and the fresh salsa. Add the garlic cloves whole or just slightly smashed. Juice the 5 limes and 5 lemons and add to the slow cooker with the cup of orange juice and 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar. This should be enough liquid to cover the meat. Set the slow cooker to go for 10 hours on low heat.
After 10 hours in the slow cooker, carefully remove the meat shred in a bowl. Spread on a foil lined baking sheet and add a few spoonfuls of the cooking liquid. Place under the broiler for 5-10 minutes until you get the desired amount of crispy charry goodness.
Enjoy with sliced green onions and chopped cilantro.