Slow-Cooker Carnitas


carnitas-finishe-dpotI have to admit, my motivation for wanting to make this recipe was more because I like saying “carnitas” than eating “carnitas.” It’s pretty fun to do in your best Sophia Vergara accent.

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

I actually didn’t really have a solid idea of what carnitas even were, but having seen them on different food sites and the menu at Chipotle, I knew they looked delicious. This recipe is a loose adaptation of one my mother makes, but she uses a beef roast, and drinks less when she makes it. I, on the other hand, managed to get an entire bottle of vino down while this bad boy simmered. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling pretty accomplished.



I will say, the heat from the chipotle peppers in adobo can be intimidating. I made the mistake of tasting the sauce before cooking it, and rubbing my eye. Word to the wise: If you get adobo sauce in your eye, DO NOT flush with saline solution. My eye felt like it literally combusted, I immediately pictured an exploded M-80 where it used to be, and mentally started planning out how to coordinate winter wear with an eye patch. All is fine though, slight overreaction.


That being said, once the carnitas are drained and sautéed in with the poblanos and onions, the heat decreases tremendously. Plate these on corn tortillas with whatever else you’d like. A little tip: robby’s cole slaw goes uh-mazing on these.

slow-cooker carnitas
serves 8-10

  • 4 pounds pork shoulder roast
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic
  • 2 – 11-ounce cans chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 medium poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • corn tortillas, limes and fresh avocados to serve.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat.

Pat roast dry with paper towels. Mix together flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper on large plate. Dredge meat on all sides with flour mixture, then place in hot skillet. Sear all sides, about 4-5 minutes each, until lightly browned.

Using a knife, make deep incisions into roast, and using finger, push garlic cloves into holes. Set aside.

In a blender, combine chipotle peppers, orange juice, broth, 1 teaspoon salt, cumin and sugar and blend until smooth. Add to slow cooker set to high heat.

Add roast to slow cooker and cover completely in sauce. Cook on high heat for 6-8 hours turning every couple of hours. When roast is finished, remove from crock pot and drain sauce using a colander with large holes. Shred using two forks and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, sauté poblano peppers and onions in olive oil until soft. About 10 minutes. Add pork and sauté, stirring constantly until meat begins to brown and crisp on edges. Remove from heat, stir in lime juice and serve on tortillas. Garnish with avocado and wedge of lime.



About Author

A collection of tasty recipes from Queer In The Kitchen, a project that follows two gays' culinary misadventures. Testing and creating recipes and sharing them with you, all while drinking!

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