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Slow Cooked Pulled Pork Carnitas

Slow Cooked Pulled Pork Carnitas

Course Main Course, Pork
Cuisine American, Mexican Inspired
Keyword carnitas, crockpot-pork-carnitas, slow-cooked-pork-carnitas
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes
Servings 20 servings
Author Melissa Sperka


  • 1 5-6 lb pork butt/shoulder
  • 1 10 oz can diced tomatoes & chilies [such as Rotel Chili Fixins']
  • 1 large sweet onion halved, thinly sliced/diced
  • 1/3 cup cilantro roughly chopped
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste plus additional as needed
  • 20 corn tortillas
  • Paste rub:
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2-3 chipotle in adobo chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 3 Tbsp taco or fiesta seasoning [i.e. McCormick's or Weber]
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder or paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • salt & black pepper to taste
  • Assorted toppings: Shredded lettuce queso fresco, Pico de Gallo, sour cream


  • Spray the bottom and sides of a 6 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Pour the tomatoes on the bottom. Sprinkle the chopped onion and cilantro on top.
  • Mix together all of the ingredients for the paste. Rub the pork on all sides liberally using all of the paste.
  • Season with salt & black pepper to your taste.
  • Center in the slow cooker. Cook on high for 1 hour then on low for 7-8 hours.
  • Remove from the slow cooker, shred the pork and remove the bone.
  • Use a large spoon to skim the fat drippings from the top of the sauce. [Tip: If preparing in advance. remove the pork butt from the sauce and chill. The fat will solidify and rise to the top, and can easily be removed]
  • Thicken the sauce with 3 Tbsp of tomato paste, more if desired. Adjust the seasonings., salt and pepper to your taste. Return the shredded meat to the sauce.
  • Simmer on high for 15-20 minutes. Keep warm until serving.
  • Serve with warm corn tortillas and your favorite toppings.


Depending on the amount of liquid released by the pork, you may need more than 3 Tbsp of tomato paste for thickening. Use your best judgment and thicken as needed.