Slow Cooked Carnitas

(Updated 8.27.19) slow cooked carnitas are made with tender pork loin that is simmered in flavorful spices all day for an excellent, quick dinner.

Slow Cooked Carnitas | Serendipity by Sara Lynn
Pork tacos with beer.
Slow cooker taco meat.

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you probably saw that I posted a picture of pie dough promising a BIG EXCITING RECIPE COMING VERY VERY SOON AND IT’S GOING TO BE THE BEST THING EVER.  It’s true, and pie dough will be here soon, but tonight I made super easy and amazing slow cooked carnitas. So I thought I’d just share them real quick!

Now, if you’re still confused about the “easy” part of the slow cooked carnitas description, (because honestly when have they ever been easy?) let me explain.  First, you’ll sear the pork.  Then, you’ll place the pork in the slow cooker with some other fun stuff.  After that, you’ll leave the pork alone while you work and go to school and exercise and unload your dishwasher.  Then you’ll shred the pork and broil it until it’s crispy.  Next?  You’re free to put the slow-cooked, shredded, crispy pork with burny bits in anything you please!

Easy pork tacos

I like to put slow cooked carnitas in tacos, enchiladas, and on tostadas!

My favorite way to eat slow cooked carnitas is the taco method. AKA blistered corn tortillas with plenty of cilantro and queso fresco.  However, the burrito bowl option with brown rice, pinto beans, queso, lettuce, avocado, tomato, and salsa is a good option as well.  Tonight I went with the burrito bowl option. Mostly because I ran out of tortillas and always have a surplus of brown rice on hand tbh. But in the future I may use the pork in tostadas or enchiladas.  (Update: I have, and it’s delicious!). Also, you only need a few kitchen basics to make carnitas. Soooo, wins all around!

The best slow cooked carnitas.

slow cooked carnitas are one of my favorite weeknight meals.

I’m a huge fan of meals that are 1. easy 2. healthy and 3. cook all day while I’m at work. That’s mainly why you see so much Mexican food on SSL.  But I promise, I don’t only eat Mexican food and not all my meals are made in a slow cooker.  I’m sure at one point I’ll get over my homemade Mexican food obsession. But for now it’s just too good, and there’s just too many options!  The carnitas are a particular favorite, because they’re slightly sweet from the orange zest. Omg, it’s my favorite part! I know it’s not traditional, but I just love it.

On another note, I have had a huge thing for curry lately, even more so than usual, so we’ll see where that goes.  I imagine Thai and Indian will infiltrate SSL in the next coming months even with summer right around the corner.

But for now, cheers to slow cooked carnitas.

Pork tacos with blistered corn tortillas, pickled onions, and avocado.

Slow Cooked Carnitas


Notes: The searing on this recipe is not totally necessary, since you broil the pork before serving to crisp it up. However, some people prefer the seared pork, so I left it in the directions. You can probably choose *either* searing or broiling. Totally up to you!

AuthorserendipitybysaralynnDifficultyBeginner

Yields6 Servings
Prep Time15 minsCook Time8 hrsTotal Time8 hrs 15 mins

 2 lbs pork loin (or tenderloin)
 2 tbsp neutral oil
 2 tsp cumin
 1 tsp chili powder
 ½ tsp oregano
 ½ cup chicken broth
 2 limes, juiced
 1 orange, juiced
 2 cloves garlic, peeled
 ½ onion, peeled and quartered
 Salt and pepper, to taste
 Tortillas, pickled onions, queso, avocado, cilantro, etc., for serving

1

*Optional*: Cut pork loin into 4 chunks. Heat the oil in a large pan until shimmery. Sear all four pieces of pork until each side is nicely browned. Do not cook all the way through.

2

Place seared (or raw) pork in a slow cooker with the garlic and onion. Season generously with salt and pepper. Whisk together the cumin, chili powder, oregano, chicken broth, lime juice, and orange juice. Pour the mixture over the pork. Cover, and cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 8-10.

3

Preheat the broiler on your oven. Remove the pork from the slow cooker, and shred with two forks (it should be very easy). Discard the onions and garlic, but reserve the liquid. Place the pork on a foil-lined baking sheet. Pour about 1/4 c. of the leftover liquid over the pork, and broil for 5-15 minutes, until crispy. Every 5 minutes, add another 1/4 c. of liquid and toss to ensure even crisping. Serve as desired!

Ingredients

 2 lbs pork loin (or tenderloin)
 2 tbsp neutral oil
 2 tsp cumin
 1 tsp chili powder
 ½ tsp oregano
 ½ cup chicken broth
 2 limes, juiced
 1 orange, juiced
 2 cloves garlic, peeled
 ½ onion, peeled and quartered
 Salt and pepper, to taste
 Tortillas, pickled onions, queso, avocado, cilantro, etc., for serving

Directions

1

*Optional*: Cut pork loin into 4 chunks. Heat the oil in a large pan until shimmery. Sear all four pieces of pork until each side is nicely browned. Do not cook all the way through.

2

Place seared (or raw) pork in a slow cooker with the garlic and onion. Season generously with salt and pepper. Whisk together the cumin, chili powder, oregano, chicken broth, lime juice, and orange juice. Pour the mixture over the pork. Cover, and cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 8-10.

3

Preheat the broiler on your oven. Remove the pork from the slow cooker, and shred with two forks (it should be very easy). Discard the onions and garlic, but reserve the liquid. Place the pork on a foil-lined baking sheet. Pour about 1/4 c. of the leftover liquid over the pork, and broil for 5-15 minutes, until crispy. Every 5 minutes, add another 1/4 c. of liquid and toss to ensure even crisping. Serve as desired!

Slow Cooked Carnitas

XO SaraLynn

*Song of the Day: I Wanna Get Better by Bleachers

Slow Cooked Carnitas | Serendipity by Sara Lynn
Flavorful, easy slow cooked carnitas for a quick weeknight dinner!
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