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Slow Cooker Carnitas: A Delicious Mexican Pulled Pork Recipe

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  • Author: Easy Peasy Recipeasy



4 pounds pork shoulder (pork butt), trimmed and cut into large chunks
– 1 large onion, chopped
– 4 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped (optional, for heat)
– 1 tablespoon ground cumin
– 1 tablespoon dried oregano
– 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
– 1 teaspoon chili powder
– 2 teaspoons salt
– 1 teaspoon black pepper
– 1/2 cup orange juice (about 1 large orange)
– 1/4 cup lime juice (about 2 limes)
– 1/2 cup chicken broth
– 3 bay leaves
– 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (for crisping)


**Prepare the Slow Cooker:**
– Place the pork chunks in the slow cooker. Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, and chopped jalapeño (if using).

2. **Season the Pork:**
– In a small bowl, mix together the cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, chili powder, salt, and black pepper. Sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over the pork and vegetables.

3. **Add the Liquid:**
– Pour the orange juice, lime juice, and chicken broth over the seasoned pork. Add the bay leaves.

4. **Cook:**
– Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours, until the pork is very tender and easily shreds with a fork.

5. **Shred the Pork:**
– Remove the pork from the slow cooker and place it on a large baking sheet. Use two forks to shred the meat. Remove and discard the bay leaves.

6. **Crisp the Carnitas:**
– Preheat your oven broiler to high. Drizzle the shredded pork with the vegetable oil and some of the cooking liquid from the slow cooker for extra flavor. Spread the pork out evenly on the baking sheet.
– Broil for 5-8 minutes, or until the edges of the pork are crispy. Watch closely to avoid burning.

7. **Serve:**
– Transfer the crispy carnitas to a serving dish. Serve with warm tortillas, fresh lime wedges, chopped cilantro, diced onions, salsa, and any other favorite toppings.

### Tips:
– **Spiciness:** Adjust the heat level by adding or omitting the jalapeño and adjusting the chili powder to taste.
– **Serving Ideas:** Carnitas are perfect for tacos, burritos, nachos, or served over rice and beans.
– **Storage:** Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat in a skillet or oven until warmed through.

Enjoy your delicious and flavorful Slow Cooker Carnitas!