Travel, Cooking, Doing, Eating and Drinking (that about covers it)

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

Is everyone getting ready for Cinco de Mayo?! What a great day to celebrate Mexican independence by drinking margaritas and eating tacos! What a great excuse to have a party! Who doesn’t love margaritas and tacos?
Mexican tacos! What better way to feed a large group? Slow cookers! What better way to make a meal with very little work? Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas! Sounds like a match made in heaven.
Pork Carnitas are great! They have this gorgeous crispy outside and are moist inside. Their secret? They are cooked in large amounts of lard. Lard! Yup, you read that correctly. Now while that may be all well and good for a commercial kitchen, I don’t happen to keep large quantities of lard on hand. I also don’t have the hours to stand over the stove making this dish.
Slow Cooker to the rescue! These Pork Carnitas start off in the Slow Cooker for a “Dinner While You Work”. When you get home, you shred them and broil them to make them crispy and crunchy without the lard. This is a great midweek recipe as the prep takes no time and the finished result is fantastic!
Looking for other ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo? Check out the recipes for Chicken Tinga Tacos and Mexican Braised Beef Tacos!
Prep time:  10 minutes; Cook time: 8+ hours + 5 minutes broil time; Serves: 6 – 8 (+ leftovers)
What you need:
  • 3 1/2 lbs pork shoulder, bone and the large fat cap removed (you can use smaller: 2 1/2 lb)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Chipotle powder (you can also use chili powder) 
  • 2 tsp Mexican oregano (or plain oregano if you don’t have Mexican)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion, large dice
  • 5 cloves garlic, rough chop
  • 1 Jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
  • 1 orange, juice (save shells)
  • Serve with: corn tortillas, slices of avocado, cilantro  (roughly chopped), pickled red onion (or thinly sliced red onion), lime wedges and pickled Jalapeños

What you do:

  • Combine olive oil, Chipotle powder, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper in a bowl, stir to mix
Mix olive oil, chipotle powder, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper in a small bowl
  • Pat the pork dry, then rub the pork shoulder with the spice mix (if you want to make ahead, wrap with saran wrap and put in the fridge overnight – if you can, this will increase the flavour)
Rub spice mix all over the pork shoulder
Make ahead, wrap in Saran and place in fridge
  • Put in a slow cooker
Put in slow cooker (I prepped this the night before and wrapped it in Saran and refrigerated it overnight)
  • Top with onions, garlic and Jalapeño (to save time in the morning, dice these all up the night before and put in a container)
Top with onions, garlic and jalapeños
  • Top with fresh orange juice
Juice your orange
Top with fresh orange juice
  • Tuck orange shells on the sides
Oranges in! (I think they look like Mickey Mouse ears!)
  • Cook for 8+ hours on low
  • Put your oven on broil
  • Pull the pork apart with two forks, try to make it chunkier, rather than finely shredded (I do this in a separate bowl)
Pull the pork into chunks (I do this in a separate bowl)
  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil
  • Take shredded pork and spread out on baking sheet
Pork on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet
  • Broil for approximately 3 minutes, until it starts to get crispy and crunchy (keep on eye on it, you don’t want to burn it)
Broil for 3 minutes then add some of the sauce from the slow cooker
  • Using the leftover liquid from the slow cooker, add some to the pork to moisten, then toss the pork to coat
Toss the sauce in and then add more sauce, return to broiler
  • Put more liquid on the pork
  • Put back under the broiler for 2 – 3 more minutes (this gives you a little crispness on both sides)
Yum! Crispy and moist!
  • Serve
Serve with avocado, pickled onions, fresh lime and cilantro on warmed corn tortillas

  • Serve on warmed corn tortillas, top with sliced avocado, cilantro,  pickled red onion (or thinly sliced red onion) and fresh lime wedges

Give it a good hit of lime!
Don’t forget to squeeze the lime!
Yummy and easy!!!


4 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas”

  • Have made these twice now since Cinco De Mayo, and both family and friends have raved about how good they are. Thanks for posting this, as it’s going to be a go-to for us for our summer hostings!

  • Amazing recipe. I served these at a dinner party and everyone loved them! Then we ate the leftovers the next morning with waffles and it was just as great as dinner.

Tell me what you think!