Oh. My. YUMMMM. These Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas are amaze-balls. Basically, you make these the same way you would make pulled pork in the crock pot, but then the trick to making these pork carnitas extra amazing is BROILING them right before you eat them! Seriously guys, these were amazing! I’m a huge fan of pulled pork of any sort and so these carnitas were incredible. I totally used to think that pulled pork had to be served smothered in BBQ sauce and heaped atop a roll to make a pulled pork sandwich, but now-a-days I really enjoy serving pulled pork (including these carnitas) alongside a nice serving of brown rice and roasted veggies. Such a simple meal, but so delicious!
I actually made these Pork Carnitas with a pork tenderloin that I had handy in my freezer. I don’t usually use pork tenderloin to make pulled pork, but I had it on hand, so why the heck not?! And it worked very well! Pork tenderloin is leaner than most cuts you’d normally make pulled pork with, but by cooking it in the slow cooker, it eliminates the need for all that excess fat that the other cuts have because it makes sure the tenderloin stays tender and juicy! And that’s exactly what you need for these!
And the seasoning mix is super simple to mix up. You likely will already have everything you need on hand for it! And combined with the citrus flavors in this as well? Perfection! The acidity from the citrus is the perfect complement to the pork and really keeps this dish flavorful and bright. I mean, guys, I’m obsessed with this recipe. I will most definitely be making it again in the very near future! I seriously cannot believe I’d never thought to broil the pork after shredding it before..it really does make it so much more flavorful!
Of course, you knew I had to make this 21 Day Fix friendly too! Just fill up a good, old red container and call it a day! Because all the seasonings are freebies! Woohoo! Now THAT’S my idea of a great meal! And I served mine with roasted veggies (1 green, 1 tsp) and brown rice (1 yellow). So a great, well rounded meal that is going to keep your tummy full and happy. Plus, if you serve this to friends, they’re going to be super impressed!
A quick note, these Pork Carnitas were not spicy on their own, but if you choose to broil them with the jalapeno slices, that does add a good amount of heat to the dish, so if you have someone in your family who isn’t a big fan of spice, just omit the jalapenos or leave a chunk of the shredded pork without topping with the jalapenos!
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 Tbs chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp dried minced onion
- 1/2 red onion, sliced
- Juice from 1 orange
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 Tbs maple syrup
- 2 cloves chopped garlic
- 1/2 lb pork tenderloin
- 1 tsp oil
- 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
- Mix together the seasonings for the spice rub.
- In a crock pot, layer the red onion on the bottom and top with the pork tenderloin. Pour the lime juice, orange juice and maple syrup over the pork and then season with the spice mix. Add garlic on top. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until cooked through.
- Once cooked, remove pork and shred. Return to crock pot and stir in with onions and sauce. Cover and let simmer another 30 minutes.
- Preheat broiler. Coat a broiler safe baking sheet with oil. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork and onion mixture to the baking sheet and lay jalapeno slices on top of the pork.
- Broil for 6-10 minutes, stirring once or twice or until pork is browned and jalapenos are roasted.