A Slow Way with Pork

Jan 15, 2019

January is National Slow Cooker Month!

Credit Jennifer Chandler


I love my slow cooker because I can prep my meal in the morning before we leave for school and work, and when we get home, supper is ready! It’s a strategy I use about once a week to make dinnertime less stressful.

Carnitas is one of my favorite slow cooker recipes. Carnitas is a deliciously tender braised Mexican pork dish. It happens to be one of my family’s favorites and I know it will be your family’s too.

Some recipes call for simmering the meat for hours on the stove-top but I just throw all the ingredients in a slow cooker in the morning and come dinnertime, it’s ready to go. With three ingredients, it truly couldn’t be any simpler to prepare.

You place a pork butt in the slow cooker and then add a few tablespoons of ground cumin and two cans of Ro-tel tomatoes for the seasoning. Put your cooker on low, and 8 to 10 hours later the pork is fork-tender and ready to eat.

I use the spicy meat to make pork tacos. This tender pulled pork would also be delicious tossed with your favorite barbecue sauce. So it’s not too wet, I would suggest straining off the cooking liquid before tossing the pork with the barbecue sauce. As an added bonus, the meat freezes well so you can save it for a meal another day.

As your carnitas are cooking, a delicious aroma will fill your kitchen.  Don’t be tempted to peek at the meat though. Slow cookers cook best when the lid remains tightly in place. Opening the lid often will require additional cooking time.

This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish. Bon appetit!

Carnitas Tacos

  • 5 lbs. pork butt, trimmed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 2 cans (10-oz.) Rotel® tomatoes (or 2 1/2 cups jarred tomato salsa)
  • 12 small (4-inch) flour tortillas, warmed per package directions
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup tomato salsa
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Rinse the pork and pat dry with paper towels.  Generously season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the cumin. Place the pork in a slow cooker and pour the tomatoes over the top. Cover and cook on low until fork tender, about 8 to 10 hours.

Transfer the cooked pork to a cutting board with a well. Remove and discard the fatty portions and any bones. Pull the pork apart and return it to the cooking liquid in the slow cooker to keep it warm and juicy. 

To serve, assemble the tacos by placing the pulled pork in the center of the warmed tortillas. Garnish with the sour cream, salsa, and cilantro. Serve warm.

Serves 6 to 8.

Cooking Tip: You need at least a 3 1/2 quart slow cooker for this recipe.

Printed with permission from Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler