Slow-Cooker Carnitas

Slow-Cooker Carnitas

I adapted several recipes to make this easy crockpot recipe, that will leave everyone thinking you slaved over a hot stove all day! Recipe by Laura Bashar of Family Spice



  1. Trim of excess fat & cut into 5-inch chunks:
    • 4 1/2 lb pork shoulder , boneless
  2. Season roast with:
    • 1 TBS kosher salt
  3. Heat a large non-stick skillet to medium-high heat and add:
    • 2 TBS vegetable oil
  4. Cook the pieces of pork shoulder in a single layer until very well-browned, turning them as little as possible so they get nice and dark before flipping them around.
  5. If your non-stick skillet is too small to cook them in a single-layer, cook them in two batches.
  6. Once all the pork is browned, place them in a 6 quart slow-cooker.
  7. Blot away any excess fat in your skillet with a paper towel.
  8. Pour in your skillet:
    • 1 cup water
  9. Scrape the bottom of your skillet with a flat-edged utensil to remove all the crispy pieces of pork.
  10. Pour the deglazing liquid with the pork bits into the slow-cooker containing your pork shoulder chunks.
  11. Add to the slow-cooker:
    • 1 tsp chile powder
    • 1 bay leaves
    • 1/4 tsp cumin
    • 4 garlic cloves , minced
    • 14 oz diced tomatoes, canned
    • 1/4 cup cilantro, fresh , chopped
  12. Cover and simmer on low heat for 6 hours or on high for 4 hours, or until pork is tender.
  13. Remove pork from the slow-cooker, and using a fork, shred the pork into bite-sized pieces, about 2-inches.
  14. Return to the slow-cooker to absorb the liquid, about 20 minutes.
  15. Heat a large non-stick skillet to medium-high heat and add:
    • 1 TBS vegetable oil
    • 1 onion , sliced
    • 1 red bell pepper , seeded & sliced
  16. Cook until veggetables soften, approximately 5 minutes.
  17. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until onions start to carmelize, about 15 minutes.
  18. Add vegetables to the pork mixture.
  19. When ready to serve, garnish pork with:
    • 1/4 cup cilantro, fresh , chopped

Slow-Cooker Carnitas  Detail

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 6 hours

Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 12
Serving Size: 6 oz

Serving Suggestions: Serve with whole wheat tortillas, guacamole and fat-free refried beans, or top a salad.

Cooking Tips: Don't have a slow-cooker? Try this version for the oven: Crispy Carnitas.