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Easy Crock Pot Mexican Pork Carnitas

Pork butt or shoulder rubbed with a delicious homemade blend of spices, stuffed with garlic, and drizzled with lime juice then slow cooked until tender and juicy.  Pork is pulled then broiled to crispy perfection for the perfect tacos, burritos, salad, nachos, or to eat straight off the pan!
Course Dinner, Meal Prep, potluck
Cuisine American, Mexican, texmex
Keyword mexican pork carnitas, pork carnitas, slow cooker, slow cooker carnitas, slow cooker pork carnitas
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Servings 8
Calories 234kcal
Author Kelli Shallal MPH RD

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients for the rub (oregano, coconut sugar, basil, chipotle chile, smoked paprika, sea salt, and black pepper) in a jar or ziplock bag (really whatever you want). 
  • Rub the seasonings all over the pork shoulder.  Make sure to get every crevice!  
  • Add avocado oil to a large nonstick pan on medium-high and brown all sides of the pork shoulder. 1-2 minutes on each side should be plenty!
  • Once the pork is browned,  place 12 small slits all over the pork shoulder, then stuff garlic chunks down in each slit.  
  • Add 1/2 cup (not full cup) water, followed by the pork and onion slices to the slow cooker. Squeeze the juice of 1-2 limes over the top. (PS if your limes are big, stick with one or it will be VERY limey.)  
  • Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 6-8 hours.  You can check doneness by trying to shred it. It should be EXTREMELY easy to shred when done.  
  • Shred the pork. You can do this in the slow cooker and then drain or just pull out the pork shoulder and do it on your cooking board. Keep the broth if you plan to freeze the meat!
  • Crank the oven to broil and spread the pork accross a foil-lined sheet pan for 3-6 minutes.  

Freezing Instructions:

  • Shred the meat but do not brown it.  Shredded meat tends to lose it's moisture when frozen or stored.  To my hubby this is UNACCEPTABLE.  If it was up to him we wouldn't brown the meat at all because he likes it' really juicy, but I NEED the crispiness.  So, freeze the meat and juice in separate containers.  You can freeze for up to 3 months.  Let defrost under refrigeration then follow the steps to saute or broil the meat for crispiness. Add back in broth as needed!    

Nutrition

Calories: 234kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 987mg | Potassium: 512mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 230IU | Vitamin C: 4.5mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 2.1mg