These sliders will be a hit at any party! There are a few parts to this recipe, and the carnitas will yield more than you need for these sliders. Make the carnitas leftovers into tacos, nachos, burritos, or eat them over rice.
Rinse the pork with clean cold tap water, and pat dry with paper towels.
Rub the rub spice mixture all over the pork, and place the spice rubbed pork, fat side up, in the slow cooker.
Turn the crock-pot on high, and start chopping and adding the veggies as you chop them. Add the orange juice, chopped onion, jalapeno, and garlic. Place the lid on the slow cooker once all the ingredients have been added.
Slow Cook on high for about 8 hours. Start checking it after 5 hours. Check for doneness by pulling on the bone with a pair of tongs, when it’s done the bone will easily slide out.
Remove the cooked pork from the slow cooker, allow to cool slightly, and shred using two forks. The juices remaining in the slow cooker can be discarded.
You’ll need about 3 cups of the cooked carnitas for the sliders. The final step in making the carnitas will be to crisp them up under the broiler. Those instructions are later on the recipe card, so they will be nice and hot and crispy in the sliders.
Make Mexican Street Corn:
Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the corn and let cook until the corn starts to char, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While the corn cooks, mix the dressing together in a large bowl: mayonnaise, sour cream, Cotija cheese, cilantro, lime juice, red onion, garlic, and chili powder.
When the corn is done cooking, fold it into the dressing. Set Mexican Street Corn aside while preparing the rest of the sliders.
Caramelize the onion:
Wipe out the skillet from any cooked bits from making the corn, and heat 1 teaspoon oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the sliced onion, and cook, stirring often. Allow onion to brown, adding a little water to the skillet if the onion starts to cook too quickly. Once the onion is nicely browned and caramelized, remove it from the skillet.
Make the spiced butter:
Soften the 5 tablespoons butter in a microwave for about 20-30 seconds. Mix in 1 teaspoon dried minced onion, 1 teaspoon chili powder, and ½ teaspoon ground cumin. Set aside.
Crisp up the carnitas:
Place about 3 cups of carnitas in a single layer spreading it out as much as you can, on a foil lined rimmed tray, and place under a medium heat (about 450° F) broiler for 4-7 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on them while they broil, as they can go from crispy to burned in a moment. You want browned crispy looking edges.
Assemble the sliders:
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Place the bottom of the cut rolls in a disposable aluminum pan. Brush the inside of the rolls with about 2 tablespoons of the spiced butter.
Spread about 3 cups of the crisp carnitas over the rolls. Top with Mexican Street Corn. Sprinkle 1 cup of shredded pepperjack cheese over the top of the Corn.
Spread the caramelized onion over the top of the cheese, and top with the bread halves.
Smear the remaining spiced butter over the top of the rolls. Bake in 350° F oven for about 10 minutes, or until butter has melted in, tops are browned, and cheese is bubbling.
Recipe notes:You can add more carnitas to make heartier sandwiches if desired.