Being that I am a native Texan, I am proud to say that I have eaten a lot of great tacos in my day. Because everyone LOVES tacos, I had to make these Venison Carnitas. I recently shared this on social media and I got a lot of requests for the full recipe, so here it is folks!
I made this in a pressure cooker and it was ready in roughly 2 hours. I love pressure cookers for two reasons: 1) It cooks food in half the amount of time. You can tenderize really tough meat in a few hours versus all day in a crockpot. This makes it easy to cook recipes like this for dinner after work. 2) I love that I only have to use one pot. I can brown the meat first in the pressure cooker, add the liquids and then lock the lid. It’s a one pot meal. With a crock pot you have to brown it in a separate pot/pan, and then transfer it into the crockpot (you should always brown your meat and aromatics first).
If you don’t have a pressure cooker, don’t sweat it. This is totally do-able in a crockpot, in fact, that is how the recipe below is guided.
I served the venison carnitas the traditional way: as tacos with some chopped red onion and cilantro, then made some Spanish Quinoa to go alongside. I also love having the leftovers for breakfast on avocado toast with an egg like its shown in the photo below, and a lot of times I throw it in salads.
- 2 t. each of Onion + Garlic Powder
- 1 t. Cumin
- 1 T. Oregano
- ½ t. Coriander
- 1 T. Chili Powder (I like Ancho)
- ½ t. Cayenne (1/2 t. more if you like heat)
- 1 T. Brown Sugar
- 2 t. Salt
- 2 lb. of Venison (Rump Roast, Flank, or tougher cuts)
- 1 Red Onion, sliced into ½ moons
- 6 Cloves of Garlic, smashed but kept whole
- 2 C. Beef Stock
- Juice of 1 Lime
- 3 T. of Spice Mix Above, divided
- Favorite Fat for Cooking (Duck, Avocado Oil, Grapeseed Oil, etc.)
- Tortillas, extra chopped onion, salsa, avocado, &/or cilantro for serving
- Mix the ingredients listed above for the spice blend. You will not need all of it for this recipe so you can store what is not used in an airtight container for future use or to add to other dishes such as Spanish Rice.
- The night before using, or at least a couple hours in advance, rub about 1 - 2 T. of the spice blend over the venison meat and allow it to marinate.
- When ready to cook, allow the meat to come to room temperature if it had been refrigerated. Preheat a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add a tablespoon of fat and once hot, brown the venison on both sides. Remove the venison and set inside of a crockpot.
- Add the red onion to the saute pan and cook until softened. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute until fragrant. Deglaze the pan with lime juice and stock, scraping any bits at the bottom and then add the onions and liquids to the crock pot with the venison. Add 1 T. of the spice blend.
- Cook on low for about 6 hours, or until the meat becomes extremely tender. Check on it periodically, if it appears to be getting dry or low on liquids, add a splash of stock.
- Use tongs to remove the meat from the crockpot and place on a large sheet pan, reserving the liquids. Using two forks, shred the venison into little pieces and then broil in the oven at 500 degrees for about 2-3 minutes. The little shredded bits should get crispy very fast. Don't over do this or you will dry out the meat. Mix some of the reserved liquids into the shredded venison and serve as desired.