Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas: juicy, tender pork with brown, flavor-packed edges. Enjoy as tacos, burritos, enchiladas or all by itself.

Dinner | April 27, 2017 | By

Mexican and Italian happen to be two of my favorite cuisines so I’m always eager to tackle a new recipe in either department. Our youngest daughter recently spent a month in Los Angeles, where I’m told you can find some of the best Mexican food other than well, Mexico. She raved about the Carnitas that up until now I had never tried, but I knew this had to change. I wanted an easy, everyday version ~ real food for real people. This Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas checks all the boxes.

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas: juicy, tender pork with brown, flavor-packed edges. Enjoy as tacos, burritos, enchiladas or all by itself.

Carnitas, in short is braised or roasted pork shredded or cut in small pieces served in tacos, burritos, enchiladas or just by itself.

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas: juicy, tender pork with brown, flavor-packed edges. Enjoy as tacos, burritos, enchiladas or all by itself.

When we were in Florida recently we found an authentic Mexican restaurant that allowed you to select from a variety of sauces on your enchiladas so I tried a Salsa Verde sauce made with tomatillos.

It was delicious and when I saw that I had leftover Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas, I knew it would be perfect when I turned the Carnitas into a batch of cheesy enchiladas that I’ll be sharing the recipe for soon. 

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas: juicy, tender pork with brown, flavor-packed edges. Enjoy as tacos, burritos, enchiladas or all by itself.

If you’ve been following along, you know my husband isn’t a foodie. He likes the classics, like meatloaf with mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy, fresh lake perch on Fridays and spicy hot wings pretty much any day, so I treaded lightly the first time I made Carnitas.

The result ~ he loved it. We barely said a word to each other because we were busy devouring it. 

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas: juicy, tender pork with brown, flavor-packed edges. Enjoy as tacos, burritos, enchiladas or all by itself.

Restaurants probably don’t use a slow cooker, but for busy lives (aren’t they all?) the slow cooker is a savior.

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of beer (or chicken stock)
  • 3 pound pork roast
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon of cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil, divided
  • Juice from half of one lime
  • 1 medium orange, quartered and juiced
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeded and rough chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ cup of cilantro, rough chopped

Cut the roast into 2” cubes.

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas: juicy, tender pork with brown, flavor-packed edges. Enjoy as tacos, burritos, enchiladas or all by itself.

In a medium size bowl, blend the cumin, chili powder, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper and using your hands spread over the pork so all areas are coated.

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas: juicy, tender pork with brown, flavor-packed edges. Enjoy as tacos, burritos, enchiladas or all by itself.

Pour the beer (or stock) into the slow cooker then add the seasoned pork cubes, lime juice, orange juice AND rinds, garlic, jalapeño and bay leaf.

Sprinkle the cilantro over the top then cover and cook on high 4 hours (or 6-8 on low).

When the Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas is fork tender ~ but ~ before it reaches a mushy, stringy stage, remove it from the slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas: juicy, tender pork with brown, flavor-packed edges. Enjoy as tacos, burritos, enchiladas or all by itself.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skilled over medium high heat. Working in batches add some of the pork to the skillet in a single layer, breaking it up into smaller pieces without shredding. Add a little bit of the juice from the slow cooker allowing the juice to evaporate, caramelize on one side. Remove the pork from the skillet and add the next batch.

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas: juicy, tender pork with brown, flavor-packed edges. Enjoy as tacos, burritos, enchiladas or all by itself.

Serve with tortillas and your favorite toppings. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Cojita cheese
  • Jalapeno
  • Shredded slaw
  • Sour cream
  • Salsa
  • Avocado or guacamole
  • Tomato
  • Lime wedges
  • Red onion
  • Cilantro

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas is juicy, tender and the brown, crispy edges add so much more flavor to an already delicious dish.

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas: juicy, tender pork with brown, flavor-packed edges. Enjoy as tacos, burritos, enchiladas or all by itself.

Try Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas as tacos, burritos, enchiladas or just on its own with a spicy vegetable rice.

Looking for a great beverage with your Carnitas? Grapefruit Margaritas hit the spot. Enjoy! 

http://www.agoudalife.com/grapefruit-margarita/

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
Ingredients
  • ½ cup beer (or chicken stock)
  • 3 pound pork roast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil , divided
  • Juice from half of one lime
  • 1 medium orange , quartered and juiced
  • 1 medium onion , quartered
  • 1 small jalapeno , seeded and rough chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic , chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ cup cilantro , rough chopped
Instructions
  1. Cut the roast into 2” cubes.

  2. In a medium size bowl, blend the cumin, chili powder, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper and using your hands spread over the pork so all areas are coated.

  3. Pour the beer (or stock) into the slow cooker then add the seasoned pork cubes, lime juice, orange juice AND rinds, garlic, jalapeño and bay leaf.


  4. Sprinkle the cilantro over the top then cover and cook on high 4 hours (or 6-8 on low).


  5. When the Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas is fork tender ~ but ~ before it reaches a mushy, stringy stage, remove it from the slow cooker.

  6. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skilled over medium high heat. Working in batches add some of the pork to the skillet in a single layer, breaking it up into smaller pieces without shredding. Add a little bit of the juice from the slow cooker allowing the juice to evaporate, caramelize on one side. Remove the pork from the skillet and add the next batch.

  7. Serve with tortillas and your favorite toppings.

  1. Mary
    April 29, 2017

    Good Gracious Gert – what a delicious looking recipe, and all the ways you can serve up this pork! I’ll take all the topping….thank you very much. Pinned. Gotta buy a pork roast and we’ll be good to go. Thanks for sharing. Have a good weekend. Chat soon!

    • Bernie
      May 1, 2017

      Hey there Mary – happy Monday! Ha! All the toppings 🙂 – a gal after my own heart. Thanks so much. Please enjoy the Carnitas and the week ahead. I’ll get the Enchiladas up soon (for any leftover Carnitas).