Make delicious Mexican pork carnitas, using this slow cooker pulled pork with beer recipe. Make it for family dinners or to feed a crowd. This recipe is surprisingly easy to make and takes less than 10 minutes to prepare.
About This Pulled Pork Recipe
- Pan fry slow cooked pulled pork to make delicious Mexican pulled pork carnitas (crispy pulled pork).
- No pre-cooking is required to make this dish because, it’s a simple dump and go slow cooker recipe.
- It’s an easy make ahead dish, because the meat can be cooked in advance, then reheated and made crispy when needed.
Pork – You can use either pork shoulder or pork collar butt. The difference between pork shoulder and pork collar butt is the fat in the meat. Pork shoulder is a lean and slightly dry meat compared to collar butt which contains more fat and making it a moister meat when cooked.
We used pork shoulder because it is lean and it’s not too dry for our tastes.
Jalapenos are a Mexican chilli; they add a little heat to the salad. Use as much as you are comfortable with or leave them out if you don’t like chilli.
Use fresh jalapenos if they are available or use pickled jalapenos if you can’t get fresh. If you can’t get jalapenos at all use a green chilli instead.
Beer – We used a 330 ml bottle of Sol a Mexican lager beer, if you can’t get this use another lager.
Onion – Use a large brown onion or white onion, don’t use red onion as it will add a sweetness to the dish. Cut the onion into a rough dice.
Garlic – Fresh or garlic paste can be used.
Salt, dried oregano and cumin powder and oil are used to season the meat.
Step by Step
Step 1 – If there is an excessive amount of fat on the meat, trim it away and discard the fat.
Place the meat into the slow cooker bowl, sprinkle over the dried oregano, cumin powder, salt and oil, rub into the meat.
Step 2 – Add the diced onion, minced garlic, jalapenos, orange juice and lime juice to the slow cooker bowl.
Step 3 – Pour the entire bottle of beer over the meat. Place the lid on and set the slow cooker to low.
Step 4 – Cook for 8 – 10 hours or until it is tender and can be pulled apart with two forks.
Step 5 – Remove the meat from the slow cooker, shred the meat and keep the liquid.
At this stage the meat and sauce can be kept separate in the fridge for eating later.
Note: The sauce will become a thick jell when it cools.
Step 6 – When ready to serve, place some meat into a frying pan and spoon in enough of the reserved sauce to cover the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle over a little salt.
Cook over a medium/high heat until the liquid completely evaporates, turning the meat occasionally. As the sauce reduces the meat will start to brown and become crisp in places.
Keep an eye on it, turn down the heat as the liquid reduces. Taste it for salt and add more if necessary.
Serve and enjoy!
Now you are probably wondering what to make with pork carnitas?
Carnitas can be used as a filling for burritos, tacos, quesadillas or use them as a topping for nachos. Serve pulled pork carnitas with a simple tomato salsa, guacamole or a black bean and corn salad. Or you could try one of the 17 light pulled pork sides dishes by Amy from The Devil Wears Salad.
Tips And Frequently Asked Questions
Are carnitas and pulled pork the same?
Both carnitas and pulled pork are slow cooked until very tender and the meat is falling apart.
Carnitas however, are cooked a second time usually in the oven to become brown and become crisp.
How long does slow cooker pulled pork take?
In the slow cooker it takes between 8 – 10 hours on low heat.
When cooked for 10 hours on low heat, the meat can be easily shredded into tiny thread like pieces with two forks. However, if you don’t like this texture the pork can be cooked for a shorter time.
Cooking the pork for about 8 – 9 hours will make the meat soft and just starting to fall apart. It can be pulled apart with forks. There will be some resistance as you pull the meat apart, and the pulled meat will be a slightly thicker than the meat cooked for 10 hours.
Can you freeze slow cooker pulled pork?
Yes, it can be frozen. After cooking, shred the meat and allow it to cool completely. Place the shredded meat into a large resealable bag or freezer safe container along with some of the sauce.
When you want to use it, thaw the meat and reheat and brown the meat in a frying pan on the stove top.
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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
- 1 1/2 – 2 kg pork shoulder
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt or to taste
- 1 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
- 1 brown onion large, roughly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 jalapeno deseeded and chopped (or 20 grams pickled jalapeno)
- Juice of 1 large orange
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 bottle (330 ml) of Mexican beer (I used Sol))
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons cumin powder
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper the pork and rub in the rub mixture. Place the pork in the slow cooker. Top with the onion, jalapeno, garlic, orange juice, lemon juice and beer. Put the lid on the slow cooker. Set to low and cook 8 – 10 hours or until meat tender.
- Remove the meat from the slow cooker and keep the cooking liquid. Allow the meat to cool slightly then shred, allow the meat and the reserved cooking liquid to cool complete then store in the fridge until needed.
Before serving heat and brown the meat.
- To brown the meat. Place some of the shredded meat into a dry fry pan, being careful not to over crowd the pan. Pour in just enough of the reserved cooking liquid to cover the bottom of the pan.Season with a little salt and cook over medium/high heat until the liquid has evaporated, occasionally turn the meat during cooking. Be careful and don’t overcook the meat because, if you do, it will dry out.
- Serve as a filling for tacos with a simple tomato salsa, avocado, fresh coriander (cilantro) and lime juice.
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