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Geek Eats: Slow Cooker Carnitas!!

by Ashley Mills


If I were limited to eating only three types of meals for the rest of my life, carnitas (Mexican roasted pork) would be one of the items on that list. Earlier this week, I made them (along with rice, beans, and veggies) for my roommates. There was barely any conversation at the table, which, in my house, is a very good sign, especially since one of my roommates is a former chef. Please note that this recipe isn’t authentic in any way. But it’s yummy and hopefully you’ll get the same results at your house as I did mine!

For this recipe, I used pork shoulder. According to the butcher at the grocery store, you want about one pound of meat per person (this accounts for the fat, most of which melts off in the cooking process). I wanted leftovers, so I cooked about 7 pounds of meat for four people. When I’m cooking for myself, I typically use a small pork tenderloin and that yields enough to last me a few days.


Pork shoulder – protip: ask the guy behind the butcher’s counter to trim off some of the fat!

1 can of diced tomatoes

12oz. lager style beer (I used Dos Equis)



2-3 bay leaves

Suggested Spices: Cumin, dried cilantro, chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, and cinnamon


I used a programmable crock pot, but if you don’t have one, you can simmer the meat on the stove top at a low setting about 2 to 3 hours, until the meat is tender.

  • Trim the big sections of fat off the meat. You want to keep some fat, but the big section that covers one end of the meat needs to go.
  • Place the meat into the slow cooker. Add salt, pepper, bay leaves and spices.
    • Disclaimer: I cook like a grandmother. Aka: I don’t measure anything, which results in recipes tasting a little different each time. If you’re comfortable adding spices by hand, feel free to do so. For the rest of you, here’s some estimates for two pounds of meat:
      • 1 tsp salt
      • 2 tsp pepper
      • 2 tsp dried cilantro
      • 1 tsp each garlic powder, cumin, oregano, chili powder, and cinnamon
      • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
    • Add the beer. The best beers for this seem to be pale lagers and ambers. I would definitely caution against anything dark (porters, stouts, black lagers, etc.) as the stronger taste can be overwhelming.
    • Drain some of the liquid from the can of tomatoes, then dump the rest into one of the slow cookers you have available with the meat and beer.
    • Turn the slow cooker on low and leave it alone for 6-8 hours. Below is a before and after shot.
    • Remove the pieces of meat and shred them with two forks. Put them in a dish and top with a few spoonfuls of liquid from the slow cooker.


About Armand (1271 Articles)
Armand is a husband, father, and life long comics fan. A devoted fan of Batman and the Valiant Universe he loves writing for PCU, when he's not running his mouth on the PCU podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @armandmhill
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