Crispy Beef Carnitas will explode with flavor in your mouth! Made in either a slow cooker or Instant Pot and pan-fried to crispy perfection. These healthy beef carnitas are whole30, paleo, and keto-friendly, and perfect in salad bowls, tacos, burritos, nachos, and any of your other favorite Mexican bites!
Living in Austin, TX, I was privy to authentic Mexican street food. Pretty sure it was mostly made by Grandmas who were taught by their Grandmas. Street food came from many places – food trucks, small carts at junctions, and gas stations. Yes, gas stations had a whole cafeteria section just for tacos. My favourites were the Texaco at Dittmar & S 1st, and the Texaco on Davis Ln & Westage, in case you feel like swinging by (78745, what’s up!). Was it greasy? Absolutely. Did I want more? Always. Did it cure a hangover? Certainly did! Just add a Topo Chico or Mint Yerba Mate and yer flyin’.
Key Ingredients for Slow Cooker Carnitas
- Beef: I used 2lb of beef brisket
- Seasoning: Pepper, salt, oregano, and my Homemade Taco Seasoning however, a store-bought taco seasoning would be just fine as well!
- Extra flavor: An onion and fresh garlic along with homemade or store-bought beef stock really pump up the delicious flavors in this beef carnitas recipe.
- Chilis: These are totally optional but I love the kick of heat they add to the dish!
How to store these paleo crispy beef carnitas
Store in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months in and freezer bag or airtight container.
Can I add anything extra to these Beef Carnitas?
Yes! You can add:
- Extra chilis or chili powder for heat.
- Liquid smoke for…smokiness.
- Extra veggies like zucchini (courgettes), more onions, bell peppers cauliflower and broccoli to cook in the juices and make it a meal.
What kind of meat is carnitas?
Carnitas are traditionally made with pork shoulder, however you can easily imitate the style of cooking the carnitas until they are brown and crisp with beef brisket instead.
Other Mexican-inspired recipes:
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Easy Whole30 Crispy Beef Carnitas
- slow cooker or instant pot
- chopping board
- measuring spoons
- measuring jug
- 2 forks for shredding
- wooden spoon
- 2 lb beef brisket
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp oregano
- 1 tsp Easy Homemade Taco Seasoning (**see notes below for link**) or a store bought taco seasoning
- 1 onion quartered
- 1 garlic cloves halved
- 100 ml beef stock homemade or store bought
- 2 hot chilis optional
- 1 tbsp oil see notes*
- Place brisket in the slow cooker or Instant Pot.
- Sprinkle dry spices and seasonings all over brisket and rub in, making sure most of the spices are on the beef.
- Add onion and garlic.
- Add beef stock.
- Slow cooker: Cook high for 4-6 hours or low for 8 hours. Instant Pot: Use meat/stew setting for 30 minutes.
- When tender, remove brisket from slow cooker/Instant Pot into a bowl.
- Shred brisket with 2 forks.
- Heat oil/fat in skillet.
- Add brisket when oil is hot.
- Stir fry for 10 minutes, or until brisket starts to become crispy.