Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Slow Cooker Week: Slow-Cooker Pork Carnitas

Hi and welcome to Slow Cooker Week! :)  I had a request to feature more slow cooker recipes on my blog.  As a fellow crock pot lover, I was more than happy to oblige and I set to work looking through my recipes to pull out some favorites and try out some new ones in order to do this special feature week.

My slow cooker is definitely on my most loved and most used pieces of kitchen equipment.  As someone who has worked for many years, I turned to slow cooker recipes many times so that I, and later when I got married, my husband and I, would have healthier meal options when we got home in the evenings.  Plus there is nothing better than walking in the door in the evenings and smelling the delicious smells of chicken, roast, or soup wafting through your house after its been cooking low and slow alllll day long!

This recipe is actually one I recently flagged in Taste of Home magazine.  Its for slow cooker pork carnitas.  There is a restaurant near our house that makes delicious tacos carnitas and I have always wanted to be able to replicate them at home.  This recipe comes pretty close, and the fact that its easy and made in the slow cooker is even better!  The pork cooks all day in chicken broth, chilies, cilantro, and salsa until it is fork tender and then you just shred it and serve with tortillas and your favorite toppings.  I like to serve this with a fresh avocado mango salsa so I've included the recipe for it at the end. I love the slightly sweet taste of this salsa with the salty pork-- I just can't say enough good things about it.  Make it and I guarantee you'll like it too. Also, I find that the salsa and a little sour cream are the only toppings I need so preparation for the carnitas couldn't be simpler at the end of the day.  Just shred the pork, warm some tortillas, add a little mango avocado salsa and a dollop of sour cream and you are eating a blissfully delicious meal within a few minutes from getting home from work!  What is better than that?

Slow Cooker Carnitas

1 pork shoulder butt roast 7-9 pounds
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tsp. olive oil
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 cups minced fresh cilantro
1 cup salsa
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 cans (4 oz. each) chopped green chilies

Trim visible fat off of roast (there is usually a thick strip of fat on one side of the roast so make sure to cut all of that off or you will have greasy gravy).  Sprinkle roast with sliced garlic, oil, salt, and pepper.  Add the onions, cilantro, salsa, broth, and chilies.  Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat is fork tender.  Remove meat; cool slightly, shred with 2 forks and return to the slow cooker and heat through.  Spoon onto warmed tortillas and the toppings of your choice.

Adapted from Taste of Home

Recipe for Mango Avocado Salsa
*Note for this recipe I like to use slightly underripe mangoes and avocados.  I think they work better for this salsa and a nicer texture that goes well with the tacos.

1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1 1/4 cups chopped peeled slightly underripe avocado
1 cup chopped peeled slightly underripe mango
1 tbs. finely chopped cilantro
4 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
optional: fresh cilantro sprigs for garnish

Combine all of the above and gently toss. Adjust salt, cilantro, or lime juice to taste.  Garnish with cilantro sprigs if desired.  Let stand several minutes for flavors to blend before serving.

Adapted from Cooking Light


  1. I've owned a slow cooker for awhile now but have only used it a couple of times. This recipe makes me want to try it out more! Great post!

  2. I was just thinking about using my slow cooker! This recipe looks fantastic! I absolutely love pork carnitas!!!!!

  3. Your Carnitas look very nicely presented. I have a slow cooker which someone gave me as a gift a few years ago ... it has yet to come out of the box. I know, it sounds sad but I'm always worried about the idea of leaving stuff to cook when I'm not there. Maybe one of these days, I will try one of these slow cook recipes. Stopped by to let you know that I have finally passed on that wonderful award you gave me.

  4. I literally just posted on Facebook the need for more crock pot recipes!! Too funny and your timing is impeccable!! I will have to give this one a try!

  5. I just bought a pork shoulder roast on sale and have been using my slow cooker again recently, so this recipe will be perfect to try. Thanks, Ryan! Looking forward to the rest of the week's slow cooker recipes.

  6. Ohhhh what a fantastic recipe! I can only imagine how good this must taste, especially with that mango and avocado salsa on the top!!! Great combination of flavours!
    Manu (Manu's Menu)

  7. What a great recipe! I can only imagine how tasty this is with that amazing avocado and mango salsa on the top! Delicious combination of flavours!
    Manu (Manu's Menu)

  8. WOWEEE, does this look delicious! It's been ages since I made carnitas, and I hope to try your recipe soon. Using the slow cooker is a great idea with the hot summer weather we've been dealing with :)

  9. Hey Ryan, thanks dear for posting your recipe :)
    This looks delicious. I like pork meat and to mix with mango and avacado salsa sure does sounds amazing to me!!

  10. These look delicious and have the advantage of being a great warm weather meal that can be made without heating the kitchen up. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  11. These look amazing, especially with the mango & avocado salsa!


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