These Slow Cooker Jalapeño Carnitas are a cinch to make and totally addictive! Top them with fresh Cilantro Lime Slaw for the ultimate easy, healthy meal!
Over the years, my Mother has developed a bit of an obsession.
She collects hoards something super unusual…crock pots.
My Mom LOVES her crock pots. She has every size and shape known to man. The bottom shelves of her pantry are filled with various slow cookers stacked inside one other and on top of each other. Yet every year when Black Friday rolls around my dear Mother will brave the cold and the crazy crowds and head to the the local Wal-mart. She comes home with some odds and ends and always, always a $5 crock pot.
And what did she ask for for Christmas last year? Another crock pot.
Over the years, I have found my Mom’s love of slow cookers to be oddly comforting. Whenever I drag out one of my slow cookers, which were gifts from my Mom, I think of her. If I am browsing through the kitchen section at a store and a crock pot catches my eye I like to think that is a little of my Mom in me. I love it. Sometimes the most unusual and unexpected things make me feel a little closer to home.
So, whenever I create a good slow cooker recipe I always have to share it with my Mom and sisters because, well because our love of crock pots is genetic.
These Jalapeño Ranch Carnitas are a game changer. They are so unbelievably easy and full of flavor. It makes a super impressive dinner with hardly any effort at all. These carnitas are topped with a Cilantro Lime Slaw, which is really simple and helps pull all of the flavors together. Here is how we do it!
For the carnitas you just throw a pork loin and five other simple ingredients in your crock pot and let it simmer on low all day. That is it! No precooking, no weird ingredients, this will take you literally two minutes to throw together in the morning before you go to work.
After 8 hours, you just shred the meat. This won’t be difficult, it will basically just fall apart. Place your meat on a lined baking sheet and broil it for a minute or two until it gets nice and crisp. YUM! Then drizzle a bit of the juice from the crock pot over the crisp meat. This is the key to having super fantastic majorly flavorful carnitas, do not skip that step!
Then just whip up the slaw and warm some corn tortillas and you have a guest worthy meal on your hands with hardly any effort at all!
- For the Carnitas
- 2 pounds pork loin
- 1 package ranch seasoning
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 sliced fresh jalapeño
- 1 12 ounce bottle of beer (I used Red Bridge)
- For the Cilantro Lime Slaw
- 3 cups slaw mix
- ¼ cup diced red pepper
- 1 fresh jalapeño, seeded and diced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- For the Jalapeño Ranch Carnitas
- Spray the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray.
- Place the pork loin fat side down in the slow cooker.
- Top with ranch seasoning, minced garlic, cumin, and the freshly sliced jalapeño. I did not seed the jalapeño and did not think it was spicy.
- Pour the bottle of beer right over the top.
- Let cook on low 8 hours.
- After it has cooked for 8 hours, shred the meat with a fork, it should just fall apart.
- Do not discard the juice from the slow cooker.
- Using a parchment paper or foil lined baking sheet place the shreds of meat in a single layer.
- Turn your broiler on high and set the meat under your broiler. Let it broil for 1-2 minutes until crisp. (WATCH CLOSELY!!!) Keep an eye on the meat, as every oven heats differently, yours may get crisp quicker than mine did.
- When meat is crisp spoon some of the juice from the slow cooker over the top (this is key, do not skip this step)
- To make the Cilantro Lime Slaw:
- Add the slaw mix, chopped red pepper and jalapeños to a mixing bowl.
- In a small bowl or measuring cup combine the oil, vinegar, cilantro, slices, and lime juice. Stir well.
- Pour over slaw and stir.
- Keep cool until ready to serve.
- (I personally like the slaw best when it has had time to sit and let the flavors meld. It can be made and served immediately, but I like it best if it has set for an hour or two.)
- To assemble carnitas:
- Heat a stack of corn tortillas.
- Place meat and slaw in tortilla and garnish with additional juice from the slow cooker, or lime juice.
*A few tips: The slaw in the pictures is the broccoli slaw mix. I have since used regular slaw mix and I think I prefer the regular cabbage mix. However, both worked great.
If you prefer not to use beer 1 1/2 cups of Dr. Pepper or beef broth would be a great substitute!