Slow cooking might sound intimidating, but it’s actually an easy and foolproof way to pull of a delicious meal with little effort!
For instance, if you braise carnitas over the stove, you’ll be tending to your Dutch oven for at least 3 to 4 hours. With a slow cooker, you simply just throw in your ingredients, close the lid, and let those ingredients become flavorful on their own, freeing you up to do whatever you want. By the time it’s done, your house will be smellin’ like your favorite Mexican restaurant.
Slow cooking is seriously one of the easiest ways to add flavor that will taste as if you’ve been cooking for hours!
Fun fact: Choosing to use pasture-raised pork can help to incorporate healthy levels of monounsaturated and saturated fats. Healthy fats are said to help sustain your energy better than sugars and carbohydrates.
To make this carnitas recipe paleo friendly, try pairing with a coconut or almond flour tortilla. Or, if you’re just looking for a low carb and crunchy alternative, try serving with romaine lettuce cups!
Kickin’ Slow Cooker Carnitas
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 8
1 cup water
1 tbsp sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
3 radishes, thinly spiced
2 medium jalapenos, seeded and thinly sliced
½ tsp black peppercorns
½ cup apple cider vinegar
1 large brown onion, chopped
2 cups chicken broth
1-2 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, finely chopped
2 tbsp lime juice
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp oregano
1 (3-pound) boneless pork shoulder
12-16 corn tortillas
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cubed
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges
Pepper Jack cheese
Combine water, sugar, and 1 ½ tsp kosher salt to a medium bowl and stir to combine. Add red onion, radishes, jalapenos, and black peppercorns. Cover with apple cider vinegar and allow the pickled onion mixture to sit in the refrigerator overnight.
In a small bowl, combine the garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and 2 tsp salt. Rub the pork shoulder with the spice mix.
Add the onion, chicken broth, chipotle chili, lime juice, and bay leaves to a 6-quart slow cooker. Stir to combine. Set the pork shoulder on top of the onion mixture, cover, and cook on low for 8 hours.
Add the pork to a large bowl or plate and shred. Season with freshly ground black pepper and salt if desired. Set aside.
Reserve ½ cup of broth from the slow cooker. Freeze remaining broth for a later use.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Transfer the pork to a rimmed baking sheet and broil for 8 minutes, until lightly crisped. Pour over ¼ cup of the reserved broth and cook for another 5 minutes, until the meat is crispy. Pour over remaining broth and remove from heat.
Serve carnitas over corn tortillas. Top with avocado, pickled onion mixture, cilantro, cheese. Serve with lime wedges on the side.