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Apple Spiced Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

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Apple Spiced Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas are crispy on the outside, tender and juicy inside, seasoned with sweet and smoky flavors, and cooked low and slow for incredible, fall-apart deliciousness!

Apple Spiced Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas | 31Daily.com

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And it couldn’t be easier to make in a slow cooker.

So simple, in fact, it’s a perfect weekend meal prep, Friday night party food, or game day eats!

Plus, it’s 1000 percent freezable.

Carnitas is one of those legendary dishes you’ll travel miles to taste. It’s personal in every way. There are hundreds of recipes, cooking methods, and little out-of-the-way nooks in foreign countries and cities that keep us on track to discovering the “perfect” carnitas.

I’m not sure it’s possible, but the journey to find it is amazing!

These slow cooker pork carnitas are a bit unique. It pairs traditional carnitas flavoring with apple cider’s sweet, warm spices. And for me, it doesn’t get better than that.

And tender? Oh, my goodness. After hours in the slow cooker, with the perfect amount of liquid, they fall apart with a mere nudge—juicy and tender.

Here’s the trick to amazing carnitas. They HAVE to be crisped.

How to Crisp Pork Carnitas

Here are two simple ways to quickly crisp carnitas.

In the Oven:

Transfer the shredded pork to a rimmed baking sheet either lined with foil or lightly sprayed with cooking spray.

Pour 1 cup of the slow cooker liquid over the shredded pork. Broil for 5-10 minutes on high or until the meat becomes golden crispy browned on the edges.

On the Stovetop:

Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil on high in a cast iron skillet or nonstick pan. Add batches of shredded pork to the hot pan and sear until the edges are crispy. Then add 1/2 cup of its juices to the pan and cook until most of the liquid evaporates.

Apple Spiced Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas | 31Daily.com

Meal Ideas Using Pork Carnitas

Carnitas is one of those dishes that make several meals with one preparation.

Here are some of our favorite ways to use carnitas meat:

  • Burritos (with black beans, sriracha and cilantro rice)
  • Street Tacos (with red cabbage, queso fresco cheese, onion, and cilantro)
  • Wraps (with lettuce, tomato, rice, and hot sauce)
  • Quesadillas
  • Nacho Topping
  • Salads

As always, guacamole and salsa are perfect accompaniments!

Apple Spiced Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas | 31Daily.com

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Apple Spiced Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas | 31Daily.com

Apple Spiced Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

Apple Spiced Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas; crispy on the outside, tender and juicy inside, seasoned with sweet and smoky flavors. Cooked low and slow for perfect, fall-apart deliciousness.
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 hours
Total Time: 10 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Stephanie Wilson

Equipment

Ingredients

Spice Rub:

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cayenne

Carnitas:

  • 4 pound pork shoulder
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup apple cider

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, mix together the spice rub: salt, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, coriander, and cinnamon.
  • In the bottom of the slow cooker place the pork shoulder (fat side up). Sprinkle the spice rub over the top and coat the pork. Pour the chicken stock and apple cider around the sides of the pork being careful not to rinse off the spice mixture.
  • Cover and cook on low until the pork shreds easily with a fork, about 10 hours or on high for 6-7 hours. Turn the meat halfway through. When cooked, shred the meat inside the slow cooker with accumulated juices.
  • Remove to a sheet pan and crisp by broiling it in an oven for about 5 minutes.

Notes

How to Crisp Pork Carnitas

Here are two simple ways to quickly crisp carnitas.

In the Oven:

Transfer the shredded pork to a rimmed baking sheet either lined with foil or lightly sprayed with cooking spray.
Pour 1 cup of the slow cooker liquid over the shredded pork. Broil for 5-10 minutes on high or until the meat becomes golden crispy browned on the edges.

On the Stovetop:

Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil on high in a cast iron skillet or nonstick pan. Add batches of shredded pork to the hot pan and sear until the edges are crispy. Then add 1/2 cup of its juices to the pan and cook until most of the liquid evaporates.

Nutrition

Calories: 144kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 301mg | Potassium: 336mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 66IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: carnitas, easy pork carnitas, slow cooker pork carnitas

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