Crispy Pork & Pickled Red Onions

oven crispy pork and pickled red onions

Brandon and I are in the process of moving. The new house is a bit of a fixer, meaning we’re neglecting everything else in our lives to get the house ready for us to move in by the end of April. Will cook for hard-working help! We’ve been pretty much living off of Hardee’s low-carb thickburgers/breakfast bowls, Paleo Pockets (grassfed beef & they’re from SC, whoop!), deli meat and scrambled eggs. So I decided that once a week, we will NOT leave the new house at 12 a.m., but at a decent hour, so we can enjoy a home-cooked meal. This was our first…


  • 3-4 lbs of pork shoulder/butt
  • 1 c stock, any flavor will work, I used chicken

For the Pickled Red Onions

  • 2 red onions
  • 1 c water
  • 1/2 c red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 c coconut crystals or brown sugar
  • 1/2 t red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 t powdered mustard
  • 1/4 t  allspice
  • 1/4 t cinnamon


Cut the pork shoulder into roughly bite-sized chunks. Don’t worry about trimming the fat–we need that for later. The smaller the chunk, the faster it’ll cook. Add the chunks to a large soup pot, along with stock. Top with a lid, leaving the lid  ajar so steam can escape, and place over medium heat. Let the pork get nice and broken down, this will take about an hour–hour an a half, depends on the chunk size. You’ll know it’s done when you take a fork to a pork chunk and the meat pulls apart really easily.

Now let’s move on to the onions. Slice the red onion as thinly as you can (Hello mandoline!). Place in a large bowl, along with the rest of the ingredients. Let marinate in the fridge until you’re ready to serve the pork. These keep, covered and refrigerated, for a good, solid month–and they’re freaking tasty on everything.

Once the pork is nice and break-apart soft, heat a saute pan over high heat. Add ALL of the pork and most of the liquid drippings. Yes it looks like an ugly mess at this point, I know, but stick with me. The heat will evaporate all the liquid and the pork will start to break down and render in it’s own fat, leaving it nice and crispy. If your piggy doesn’t give off a lot of fat, add in some bacon drippings to help the crispy process move along a little faster. Stir the pork chunks around every couple of minutes and do not remove from the heat until you see visible browning on the pork. This should take about 30 minutes.

Serve topped with pickled onions.


5 responses to “Crispy Pork & Pickled Red Onions”

  1. Made this tonight, it was great. I nice change from the pork butt’s we usually do in the smoker.

  2. JQBancroft

    I made this meat this way the other night and used beef instead of pork (it was on sale0 and it was DELICIOUS. My husband added some of the chili garlic sauce to his, and I used BBQ sauce on mine. I ate leftover in the office and everyone was oohing and aahing over how good it smelled 😉

  3. I feel like this recipe hasn’t received the attention it deserves. 2 comments??!!

    This is a great recipe. So, dang, good. It has become a staple around here. Maybe if you changed the name to stovetop carnitas or something with carnitas, because that is essentially what it is.

    PS: So, good that I am making a huge batch to serve at my daughter’s graduation party this Saturday. You guys are perpetually awesome! Thanks again.

  4. I know this post was written a year ago, but I have to leave a comment about the pickled onions, which are SUPERB! I’m going to have to make quite a few more jars of those things.

    1. thank you so much danielle!

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