Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas


Over a week later and I’m still celebrating Cinco de Mayo…

It’s a state of mind.

Bold colors and simple food, a celebration for any occasion. I think that’s the official motto.

These carnitas have so many things going on:

2. Minimal Effort
3. Minimal Ingredients
4. Party Food

And obviously taste is a big factor. You get such a rich flavor from all the fat in the pork shoulder… so maybe not the healthiest, but this isn’t a calorie conscious blog.

I add a bit of heat to mine, but it comes through as an after thought, a little kick at the end of the bite. Keep it simple kids, you won’t regret it.

The low and slow cooking method makes this easy win for feeding a party… even if it’s just a little midweek party for two. 

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

(makes 2-3 portions, we’re hungry)


700g pork shoulder
2 -3 bottles of Mexican or Light beer (enough to cover the pork, plus half inch extra)
2 garlic cloves
1 large onion chopped chunky
1 dried ancho chili
2 dried Chili de Arbol
1 jalapeno
Generous pinch of salt and pepper
2 teaspoons Mexican Oregano, normal oregano
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 Lime
1 teaspoon of cumin

Marinate the pork overnight or a few hours before cooking, but definitely marinate the meat. Overnight is best, but sometimes you just wake up wanting Carnitas. 

To Marinate:

1. Place dried chillies in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Cover bowl with  clingfilm and let sit for 30-45 minutes or until the Ancho chili is soft
2. Cut pork into chunky blocks, 2-3 inches wide, trimming excess fat where necessary. Season with finely crushed garlic cloves, salt, pepper, cumin and oregano – Basically a dry rub
3. Mash up Ancho chili into paste and rub into pork
4. Finely dice the Chili de Arbol and mix in with pork
5. Let mixture sit for a minimum of two hours up to overnight.

To Cook:

1. Get your frying pan on a high heat and add two tablespoons of olive oil. Throw in marinated pork and sear until the outside is browned. The rest should be completely raw.
2. Place seared pork into a low temperature set slow cooker, along with chopped onion, chopped jalapeño, and the juice of one lime
3. Cover slow cooker ingredients with beer until liquid fully covers pork by 5.-1 inch over.
4. Set your slow cooker to a low temperature and let cook for 5-8 hours. The longer the better.
5. Once pork is throughly cooked, drain any excess liquid. Take diced pork and gently shred meat with two forks. 


Carnitas are best served with warm tortillas, diced raw white onion, cilantro and guacamole. Oh, and of course Homemade Salsa!

There’s really not much more you could want, except maybe an ice cold beer.

Ah, summertime.




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