Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
This is healthier version of the traditional fried pork carnitas, slowly roasted in the slow cooker all day.
1 pork shoulder (approx 8 lbs)
1 tbsp chopped garlic (generous tbsp!)
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp powdered cumin
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 bay leaves
1 medium onion, diced
1 sprig fresh cilantro, finely diced, including stems
1/2 cup Goya Mojo Criollo marinade
1 – 12 oz bottle of beer (pilsner style, not dark)
Steamed white rice
Seasoned cuban black beans
Pico de gallo or salsa or chopped tomatoes
Shredded sharp cheddar or mexican cheese
Shredded green lettuce, cut into ribbons
Chopped fresh cilantro
Fresh limes, cut into 8ths.
Icy cold beer
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl, except beer and diced onion. Set aside and allow flavors to marry.
Rinse pork shoulder well; lance all over with a fork to allow marinade to penetrate meat.
Place pork shoulder in large crockpot, fat side up.
Sprinkle chopped onion all over pork shoulder.
Add bottle of beer to marinade; mix thoroughly.
Pour beer marinade all over pork shoulder in crockpot.
Set on high for 30 mins, then reduce heat to low.
Cook on low for 5 – 6 hours.
Remove pork from crockpot, discard top skin/fat.
Shred pork with two forks into ribbons.
Transfer shredded pork to an oven proof large baking dish/lasagna pan (some fat will remain; that’s okay).
Sprinkle generously with sea salt, and season to taste with more black pepper or cayenne pepper and chopped fresh cilantro (if desired).
Place shredded meat in a pre heated 500 F oven. Bake in oven for approx 15 -20 mins, until fat caramelizes and gets slightly crispy. Check while cooking, stir and don’t allow to burn, but makes sure it’s heated thoroughly, and meat tops are slightly crispy.
Cooking a whole pork shoulder yields alot of seasoned shredded pork, so set aside 1/2 of the pork for other purposes (ie: chili con carne, cuban black bean soup, breakfast burritos, etc).
Serve remainder immediately with rice, black beans, chopped fresh tomatoes or pico de gallo, shredded lettuce, salsa, shredded cheese, sour cream, warmed flour tortillas or whatever other sides you like. I like to squeeze fresh lime all over the meat just before serving while still warm to help bring out the flavors.