Carrrrnitas + Slow Cooker Secret

How about carrrnitas for supper? (Trust me — it’s really fun to say carrrnitas , rolling the r’s… like the carrrne asada commerical with the lions).


This recipe gives tender and juicy shredded pork flavored with cumin, chipotle, citrus, and cinnamon!

This is another repeat recipe in our house which I am very happy to pass along with a big McAlpine stamp of approval.


This is also a beat-the-heat & simplify-dinnertime recipe that makes use of the crockpot. For a long time, I wasn’t using my crockpot during the week. Most days David and I are gone 9-10 hours, and I didn’t want to risk overcooking recipes that only called for 6-8 hours cooking time.


To solve this problem, I made a little purchase at Home Depot for around five dollars. An outlet timer! These are usually used for Christmas lights but are also perfect crockpot timers. This morning, all I had to do was turn the crockpot to the low setting, plug it into the timer, set the timer to turn the outlet on at 10:30 am so that it would cook 8 hours by 6:30 pm.

I knew it worked when I stepped in the door and smelled dinner cooking away — the cinnamon hit me first followed by the rest of the warm spices.

I made my taco de carnitas on a corn tortilla with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, cilantro, and a sprinkling of cheddar cheese. Perfect.

Probably the most prominent flavor comes from the spicy chipotle peppers. I promise it’s not too spicy, but if you’re worried you can cut down the number of peppers used.


Slow Cooker Carnitas
Adapted from The Kitchn

5 lb. pork shoulder roast
1.5 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 T minced garlic
3 chipotle peppers (canned in adobo sauce, with seeds)
1 (16 oz) can tomato sauce
1 cup orange juice

Trim excess fat from pork.
Cut into chunks and place in slow cooker.
Add rest of ingredients and stir a few times to combine.
Cook on low for 8 hours.
Remove meat and shred with a fork. Spoon some of the leftover liquid over the meat. You can also reserve some for reheating later.

The meat should shred very easily after slow-cooking all day.

I should note that the first step, trimming the excess fat, does not mean trim all the fat. While trimming, I started going a little crazy trying to get perfectly non-fatty pieces of meat because I really dislike the sight of fat. Not necessary because after the meat is cooked, it is fairly easy to remove any excess fat that was missed.

Also, I realized partway through that I did not love the sight of bloody meat either, but I powered through. Dealing with raw meat is possibly my least favorite part about cooking…even more disliked than cleaning. That’s why you see lots of oats and veggies around here!

Maybe someday I’ll be a vegetarian so I don’t have to deal with meat… Then again, these carnitas are pretty tasty — maybe good enough to keep cooking carnivorous meals!



3 thoughts on “Carrrrnitas + Slow Cooker Secret

  1. Great idea about using the timer! I never thought of that, but I should try it when I don’t have Pops around to turn my crock pot on at just the right time! I had to chuckle when I read your comment about not liking the sight of fat. I remember you attempting to cut every molecule of fat off your meat. I can’t say I’m a big fan of it either! Thanks for another great recipe.

    • Yes, you guys really should try this one — I might have brought over leftovers one time. We actually had carnitas pizza last night, with fresh mozzarella and diced red onions. Pretty good, though you can’t really go wrong with pizza!

  2. Pingback: Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes with Chocolate Chips | In The Mixing Bowl

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