slow cooking expert and mom to three
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A Year of Slow Cooking

Monday, February 22, 2010

Slow Cooker Carnitas Recipe


Hello there! I have exciting news!

This news is probably more exciting to me than to you, but trust me---it's exciting nevertheless.

And I'm pretty sure you will never guess what my news is.


nope. that's not it.

nope. it's not that either!

My super duper exciting news is that somehow I don't seem to be allergic to pork anymore. I have no idea how it happened, but I started sneaking *real* bacon here and there at restaurants when I was pregnant, and then I got kind of gutsy and had *real* baby back ribs, and then all of a sudden I was eating pulled pork and ham.

My mind is totally and completely blown.

So I made carnitas. In the slow cooker.

And now so should you!

The Ingredients.
serves 6.

2 pounds pork shoulder
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1 large orange)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1 large lime)
7 cloves garlic (whole intact)
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 cup beef broth
corn tortillas
sour cream, salsa, sliced avocado (optional)

The Directions.

Use a 6 quart slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine the salt and cumin. Rub mixture all over the pork, then plop into the slow cooker. Add whole garlic cloves. Squeeze on the citrus, and pour the beef broth evenly over the top.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours, or until the pork shreds quite easily with a fork. If your meat is still fully intact after 8 hours, remove and cut into chunks, then return to the crock and flip to high for about an hour or two.
Shred meat fully and serve on warmed corn tortillas with desired toppings.

The Verdict.

This is so totally good. I adored the citrusy flavor of the meat, and the slight smokiness from the cumin. If you don't eat pork, try using an inexpensive chuck roast instead of the pork shoulder. Adam and the girls all liked their dinner, and I'm so beyond thrilled that due to some bizarre fluke of nature I can eat pork again.

~~knock on wood~~

108 comments:

Roving Lemon said...

I've heard that one can spontaneously develop--and recover from--allergies at any point during one's adult life. And the hormone storms of pregnancy are held responsible for many weird and wonderful things. So why not this too? Congratulations!

MemeGRL said...

Oh, YAY, I'm so happy for you! We actually had our favorite slow cooker pork roast tonight and as I took the first bite I said to my husband, THIS is why I'm not a vegetarian.
I will make this next. So excited. (And try my roast, too, it's on my blog and it's so so easy and so so good and adaptable!)

Sarah Harward said...

It's amazing what pregnancy does to our bodies! My ENTIRE life I was allergic to nuts (mainly pecans, walnuts, almonds to name a few) while I was pregnant I just couldn't resist my sister's homemade turtles, and was SO shocked when my tongue and throat didn't itch like crazy afterwards. So I tried another, and another and another, and now I can have all the nuts my heart desires. CRAZY! Anyway, these look SO good! I'm going to have to try them this week!

Corners of My Life said...

Maybe you can thank that beautiful new daughter of yours for the "good news". Pregnancy can certainly change our bodies in so many ways. Enjoy that pork!

Michelle said...

Pregnancy does awesome things to a woman's body. ;) Some are awesomely bad. Some are awesomely good. Glad you get to enjoy bacon again. :)

Mellissa said...

I'm so glad you can eat pork. This looks so yummy I can't wait to try it. My go to recipe for pork is a giant pork shoulder, 1-2 tbl of liquid smoke, 1-2 tbl of red Hawaiian rock salt...cook on low for up to 16 hours. Remove giant globs of fat when it's done. Shred and enjoy in your favorite recipe. I like it just shredded with rice (like pork kalua), mixed with BBQ sauce on a bun (GF of course), or crisped up in a skillet with some green chilies and served in corn tortillas as tacos, or enchiladas.

I have so many food allergies. Newest one seems to be wheat gluten so I'm so thankful I found your website and was already familiar with GF cooking! I am also allergic to melons, mangos, peaches, asian pears, apricots...it's awful! My sister used to be allergic to milk, but after years of avoiding it, she tried it once again and she's ok with it. Maybe your body is "cleansed" and has a tolerance to it now? Hopefully it's something that doesn't come back!

Thanks so much for your awesome recipes!!!

Ashley said...

That's so great that you aren't allergic anymore! This recipe looks great! Hope you enjoy lots of wonderful pork dishes :)

Tracey said...

It's amazing what happens to our bodies after childbirth. I for one, am so happy you can enjoy pig allergy free. Bring on the new pork recipes!!!

Candi said...

This is how I make our Pork Roast too! And it's so yummy! So glad you're not allergic to pork anymore :)

Rayzer said...

OMG! I have spent the last two weeks looking for this recipe. I told my wife that I thought it was made with beef and that's what we made it with. It turned out okay, but I had my heart set on something a little different; this was it. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I can't wait to get home next month and try this. BTW, keep up the great work!

Julie said...

Wow! Welcome to the world of pork! I hope it's not a fluke or a result of baby hormones running amok! :D
Mmmmm! We love carnitas and I have pork waiting in my freezer. :)

Nina T. said...

OMG that looks soooooooo yummy!!!! I {heart} carnitas!!!! I will definitely try this! Thank you!

Laura PARING DOWN said...

That sounds absolutely mouthwatering - definitely my next slow cooker recipe!

Emily said...

This makes me happy. Thank you.

Michelle in Orygun said...

Hooray for pork! That's wonderful news! Pregnancy sure does weird things to one's body. :)


PS--I'm loving your cookbook. Today, Puppy Chow and the garbanzo bean crunchies.

The Boob Nazi said...

I am definitely making this ASAP!

staskym said...

lol i LOVE pork and when i was pregnant with my 20 YO i developed a really bad allergy to it still can't eat it, but neither can he so i guess that's fair, some time i try to sneak some and let me tell you i pay for that one little bite so yea pregnancy does some really weird thongs to you

CA Keri said...

Congrats Steph! Welcome back to the other white meat!

Lisa in CO said...

Mmmhhh pork! I'm so excited for you Steph! It's so strange how pg affects us in weird and wonderful ways.

can't wait to try this :)
Lisa in CO

ALW said...

Mmm I can't wait to try this recipe!

That's great you can eat pork now! I think I have an "allergy" to beef. It makes me so sick right after I eat it. Maybe someday I'll be able to eat it again!

PMG Smith Family said...

You have no idea how this recipe is calling to me right now...

MM said...

That's good news. As someone who's developed food alergies late in life, I guess things can change all the time. I'm going to try this recipe this week. Pork is actually my favorite meat.

Charlie Ann said...

I am unnaturally happy for you!!! :o)

And i've been waiting all my life for a way to make carnitas in the crockpot. Thank you, i cant wait to try it!

Nan Sheppard said...

Congratulations! It's funny, we can develop allergies or lose them at random. Recently I find I feel nauseous when I drink coffee. DISASTER! Will give it a while and then try again.

Kamaka said...

If you like Kalua pork you got to try KALUA PORK AND CABBAGE. It's is so delicious we say, "It's broke the Mouth!"

gfe--gluten free easily said...

What surprising and fantastic news, Steph! We'll all benefit from your ability to eat pork again ;-) ... starting with this recipe--it looks fabulous! :-)

Thanks!

Shirley

Tasty Eats At Home said...

Hooray for you! No one should have to miss out on the goodness of pork. (Okay, well, I realize there are certain beliefs and religions that disallow pork, so...no one should have to miss out on the goodness of pork unless they want to.) Anyway, this sounds REALLY good!

JC said...

As a young adult I developed an allergy to cow's milk. Not a lactose intolerance, a true allergy that left me, well, you don't need details. When I met my now husband, he was such a trooper to alter his dairy ways so we could eat together. His sister actually said "You can't do cow's milk? No problem! I'll make lasagna!" When we eventually had a child and she thankfully didn't have a milk allergy, I tried feeding her yogurt - from your crockpot yogurt recipe. Once I tried it by liking the spoon - thinking I was in for a world of hurt. But nothing. Then slowly my husband convinced me to try more cow's milk products. Nothing! No reaction whatsoever. Apparently the pregnancy changed me in more ways than I thought. =) Now we are a cheesy, cow's milk indulging family. I do wonder what it's done to my cholesterol count. :/

Alice said...

I'm going to try this for sure BUT I'm still so much on the crockpot YOGURT kick that I just can't stop making it (and eating it!). I love, love, love it--I even got a bit of cream cheese in the bottom of the bowl as I got down to the last scoop. I'm crying it's so good.

Alice

quinn said...

That's a nice surprise!Think of all the recipes you can enjoy now :)

Denise said...

So glad for you! I bet this one is good. I have been inhaling your Ropa Viejo for a couple of weeks. You should go back to that one!!

Unplanned Cooking said...

Happy for you! I love pork in my slow cooker. It gives it a tenderness I'm not otherwise able to achieve.

The Double Dipped Life said...

Pregnancy does so many odd things to our bodies!

This recipe looks really good! I've been looking for a good carnita- thanks!

Nowheymama said...

Now you must eat the Peking Pork Chops!

Deborah said...

That *is* exciting news, Stephanie! Enjoy pork. :)

Teresa said...

Most envious of the spontaneous allergy cure. I don't think it would be a good idea for me to get pregnant to see if it cures *my* pork allergy, but I've been getting these odd feelings lately that if I tried organically raised pork, free of antibiotics and hormones, it might just be okay. Planning on buying, feeding most of it to the man, and trying a bite or two in the safety of my own home.

Lola said...

This recipe looks good. I think I may split the large roast I have in half and use 1/2 for the tamales I'm going to be making and use the other 1/2 for this.

That's such good news. Luckily I don't have a food allergies...knock on wood. I just have seasonal allergies.

I have a cookbook review over on my site, if you'd like to check it out:
http://lolasdiner.blogspot.com/2010/02/cookbook-review-daisy-morning-noon-and.html

It doesn't have any slow cooker recipes, per se, but I bet some of the recipes could be adapted.

La Rêveuse said...

So, the next blog is Pork365.com? ;-) So happy for you. Bacon is a fundamental right, IMO. Pork rocks!!!

allthingsjuice said...

I had the same experience as you, but with chicken. I'm childless, so your body can change even without being preggo! I'm thankful to be able to have chicken again after 10+ years.

Melissa said...

I've heard more than one woman claim pregnancy cured her allergies. Maybe it happened for you!

Can't wait to try these!

Anonymous said...

My mom tried some of her own homeraised pork and no reaction! She still can't tolerate pork in restaurants or bought from a store, but she enjoyed the pork so much she is going to buy some more piglets this summer:D

Heather @CeliacFamily said...

It's so nice to hear about someone who has gotten rid of an allergy. Hooray! And, I'm so glad you posted the carnitas recipe. I was just thinking last week about finding a recipe. This looks great!

Aviva said...

yum! glad you can eat pork again! one question though...the salsa you use looks SO GOOD! What kind is it?

Stephanie O'Dea said...

hi Aviva,

it IS good---I used the southwestern salsa from Safeway. it's the store brand.

xoxo steph

Joanne said...

Pregnancy can apparently do really crazy things to a person. I love pork...can't imagine living without it! THis carnitas recipe looks delicious.

Kimberly said...

Try your pork shoulder BBQ's (with the bottle of ketchup?). We made them last week and they were delicious!

Chey can cook! (and more) said...

That is so strange, but so wonderful about the pork! I can't wait to try this, as I love pulled pork!

Meal Plan Mom (Brenda) said...

The picture of this recipe kept popping up on my blog (I have a link to you on my favorites list!) I just had to hop over and check out the recipe. With spring sports season just around the corner for us Texans, I know I'll be needing lots of great slow cooker recipes and this one looks like a must try! And yay for you on your "cured" pork allergy!

Ruby W. Bradley said...

Good thing I am not allergic to pork because I still have to be pregnant to overcome it! I'll try this recepi the soonest with my new slow cooker!Thanks a lot!

Gina @ MoneywiseMoms said...

Ooh--there are so many great pork recipes you can try now! I recovered from some topical allergies during my pregnancy, so strange things can happen. Enjoy! :)

wosnes said...

I've not read all the comments, so I don't know if someone has suggested this already, but I think this would be good with chicken, too.

Goose Hill Farm said...

WOW! Our bodies can certainly mess with us when we're pregnant, huh?

Glad to hear that you are doing much better

Blessings~
Laura

Annabelle said...

Horray for pork! In the recent past I overcame lactose intolerance after a short dose of acidopholous (sp?) pills during a trip to China. Horray for ice cream!

Di said...

I am making this for dinner tonight...OMG! Not only does it smell incredible, but it tastes soooo good! I am serving it with tortillas, lettuce, refried black beans, and salsa. Yummers!

wkelly said...

I was allergic to chicken for YEARS. I ate some in something by accident one day and had no ill effects, then ate a Chik Fil A chicken biscuit one morning for breakfast, and no ill effects. I can certainly understand how happy you are.

And this recipe looks like a keeper!

Anonymous said...

I agree that the pregnancy probably cured you from your allergy.

Not all pregnancy side effects are bad :-)

angelinthekitchen said...

Congratulations! That must have been so frustrating. I have a friend who developed an allergy to pork during pregnancy, so it's amazing what can happen!

Anonymous said...

I know what is going on my menu plan for next week!

--RA

merry said...

yayyyyyyyyyy

Brenna said...

Hi Stephanie! I was wondering if you know that your blog was mentioned in USA Weekend?

panavia999 said...

I read that cumin, garlic, salt and pepper were traditional pork seasonings in colonial times in Virginia and the Carolinas. Very delicious.

Sara Lucinda Bell said...

Congrats on the pork! And I just wanted to say thanks for doing this!! My fiancee was diagnosed with Celiac Disease a few years ago so he's been gluten free for quite a while, so I had been lightly following your blog for a while... but then I did a lot of research and decided it would be better for him if I became gluten free too, and wow, the food is so awful sometimes! I am really glad you have this blog so I can have something ready for me when I get home from work instead of trying to whip up something disgusting from the store!

THANK YOU!!

Infant Bibliophile said...

Pregnancy (and breastfeeding) are amazing -- enjoy your pork!! This looks delicious. We will try it sometime soon.

EAT! said...

I made a similar carnitas recipe, but after shredding I roasted in the oven to get those tasty crispy bits of meat. Oh so good!!!

Alli Byers said...

I made this tonight with the only change being I used a pork butt instead of shoulder since my market didn't have it. It was delicious and just fell apart!! It was also a very good recipe for my husband to have since he can't eat typical spicy Mexican food because of reflux. So this was awesome b/c it had the subtle cumin flavor but not a ton of spice to it!
Thanks so much!

Alli Byers said...

Here is a link to my cooking blog, if anyone is interested... Keep in mind it is a work in progress :)

www.alliscookingcorner.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

This same thing happened to me with my pineapple allergy with my second pregnancy.

Jennifer Perkins - Naughty Secretary Club said...

Yum I'm gonna try your carnitas next time I'm in the mood. We usually use a can of pepsi, oj concentrate, cilantro, onion, jalapeno and pork butt. Glad to hear you are no longer allergic to pork, it is after all the other white meat.

vanessa said...

Glad you're not dealing with the pork allergy right now. Just saw this interesting article on-line about meat allergies. Thought you might want to read.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/AllergiesFood/meat-allergies-12-unusual-allergic-reactions-revealed/story?id=9975777

Deborah W said...

You've got some great recipes on your blog. Since I'm vegan I won't be trying this one but I'm making the Moroccan Lentil Soup today. Thx for all the great ideas for using my slow cooker. I especially love to do so in the cold winter months.

Deborah at FledglingVegan

The Glasers said...

LOVE THIS RECIPE in my house full of picky eaters and gf/cf daughter!

Helena said...

Your blog has saved me many a time and so I gave you a blog award! Enjoy! http://helena-agalneedsatleast2blogs.blogspot.com/2010/03/blog-mention.html

Liz said...

I made this recipe tonight and it's divine. I didn't have OJ handy so I used up some clementines I had to equal the amount of juice called for in the recipe. Nothing is more exciting that coming home to the amazing smell of this dish. It's a keeper and I've shared the link of this recipe on my Facebook page. I love your blog and can't wait to try more recipes!

Ginger said...

This was so easy & really good! Thanks!

themsrevolution said...

congrats on no longer being allergic to pork! can't wait to try this. i love your blog.

Kelly said...

I too love my slowcooker! Can't wait to bookmark your site as a go to slowcooker recipe guide! Love it! Oh and your site was recommended at POM's Connect MEme Monday!

http://thepursuitofmommyness.com/

Cheryl B. said...

I love carnitas. DH makes them on the stove. I am going to try this and shock him! He is the cook of the family, but I tried your Asian short ribs and he liked them. Anytime I cook something he likes it is a really exciting time for me!

Glad you can eat pork. My OD was allergic to cow's milk when she was young and we got a goat and milked her. Thank goodness she got over it!

Jody said...

Delicious! The only thing I did different is to put the whole mess into an iron skillet at the end and let the liquid cook down and brown the meat a bit. The flavors were perfect.

Duncan said...

Just sort of funny that you use Kosher salt in a pork dish... :)

Linda www.mykindofcooking.com said...

I love your site!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to try this. Sounds delightful. We are sorely deprived of good South of the Border treats here in Yankee territory so who knows who might show up at the table once they smell this cooking all day.

My sister has TONS of allergies and says that's the worst part of it all....the are known to change.

Candy said...

I made these on Sunday and they were very good! I'm from a border town so I know mexican food. These are obviously much healthier than traditional carnitas, but still quite tasty. I like this site, and your cookbook - I use my slow cookers a lot more now.

Megan said...

That is awesome!! I'm so excited to try this out too!

PMG Smith Family said...

I made this the other night and had leftovers last night and for lunch today. It is SO GOOD. My husband and I love, love, love, loved it. Thank you!

Granny's Daughter said...

This is GREAT! Just made it and ate it and can't believe how good it tastes!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Kristen said...

I made these on Saturday for my Dad's birthday and my family went absolutely gaga for them! One tip: My roast gave off a lot of liquid in the cooking process so I had to drain it off, put the meat in a 13x9 and stick it in a warm oven to dry it out a little so it wasn't too drippy for tacos!

Thank you for this great recipe!

Anonymous said...

I made this over this past weekend. One tip.. I browned mine 1st which created some browned, crispy bits. SOOO good!!

glaucia said...

I made this a couple nights ago, and we used it for tacos! It was a huge hit. I'm on a diet, so I had it over brown rice with the tomatoes and cilantro.
I will be making tamales as per your other recipe, and using this for the filling in a couple days. Can't wait! Thanks for sharing all of this!!! :)

Kris said...

I made this recipe last night and it was really delicious. I used lemon juice instead of orange. I served it with cherry salsa which was fantastic. Such as sweet contrast to the meat and sour cream.

Thanks for so many terrific recipes. My crockpot is my best friend now!!

Melissa said...

I LOVE your website! My fiancee and I just got a slow cooker a few months ago and visit your site at least once a week for a new recipe. I am happy to say that they are all great!

My favorite so far is the lentil stew with chicken...we went for it because it looked pretty healthy and we needed to detox after a weekend of too much food and wine. Not only was the dish healthy but it was incredibly tasty.

Thanks for sharing your recipes :)!

Best regards,
Melissa Bourgeois

John & Suman said...

This was absolutely delicious! My family loved it and we had plenty of leftovers! We have had this twice since you posted! Thank you!!

psychsarah said...

Thanks for this tasty recipe. Cumin is my favourite spice and added such a nice flavour to the pork. I added the zest of the lime and orange to the mix also, and it was so yummy!

Colleen said...

Pregnancy took away my wheat intolerance! Weird how it works that way! All those hormones....
Recipe looks awesome!

Lisa said...

I made this recipe a few weeks ago and it turned out awesome (definitely satisfied my craving for Chipotle) I used frozen pork and about half a can of frozen orange juice concentrate instead of the fresh orange juice.
Congrats on the not being allergic to pork any more!

Josh and Kristi said...

Yep!! A new favorite around here! My daughters are allergic to wheat/gluten, dairy and soy and we can make this recipe and chow it down. I'm even making it for friends... it's gotta be good if you're willing to make it up and share with others!

Linda said...

I have had this recipe on my mind since you posted it. I finally made it for lunch today and it got rave reviews! One son wondered where the black beans were, so will maybe add some for the next time. I put my pork roasts in the crock pot last night and often got a good wift of the smell in the night. My DIL and husband both enjoyed the early a.m. smell! I'm sure my "planned overs" will be enjoyed as much as the originals were enjoyed today. Thanks

Smith Family said...

When my husband was a small child, he developed a milk allergy. The allergist told my MIL not to give him ANY milk or milk products for 2 whole years. She was devout, not even crackers that contained whey would pass through his lips. After 2 years, they slowly introduced milk into his diet, and now he's totally fine. I'm glad that you can have pork now. Ahh, the yummy bacon cheeseburgers, and pork reasts to follow!

The Lemings said...

I think it is pregnancy, I had a similar thing happen with fish. FISH, I can eat FISH again! Yeah!

Lisa said...

I made this to feed a swarm of hungry teenagers and everyone LOVED it...I had hot sauce with the fixings for people who want spice. Very easy and delicious.

Geek+Nerd said...

Okay, after months of reading your blog, and months of having this recipe bookmarked I finally took my slow cooker out for a spin for the first time.

My thoughts? "WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE, SLOW COOKER?!" I did not have enough cumin for the rub, so I added a little cinnamon and cardamom. The results were so delicious, even my husband (who is very picky and usually will not eat pork, unless it is bacon) loved it! Thank you for sharing! I will make this again!

debra said...

these were FABULOUS!! Made them for friends who were staying with us and they loved them too!

Probably the best thing Ive ever made in the crockpot!!

(used chicken broth, otherwise followed recipe)

Shannon said...

This week I made this carnitas recipe for the 5th or 6th time since you posted it - it's quickly becoming a staple in our household. Not only is it delicious, but really versatile - fantastic in burritos or rice bowls, or with eggs, or in sandwiches, or cold in a salad, or just gobbled up straight. Thanks for sharing it!

SandraGirl said...

I read your blog regarding ridding yourself of your allergy to pork. This excited me to hear because it is more evidence that the law of attraction is as obvious as the law of gravity. We can make ourselves sick and we can keep ourselves from being sick. It is all about the thoughts we create and meditate on. Read THE SECRET! You are what you make yourself to be! Congrats! God Bless You!

katherine_rondeau said...

I love making pork in the crockpot, and I have made it MANY different ways over the years.

This recipe, however, was the absolute BEST I have ever eaten! My husband and I just finished our carnitas tacos dinner (soft whole wheat taco shells, salsa fresca, sour cream, and a little sour cream), and we could not stop talking about how delicious the pork was.

I HIGHLY recommend this recipe - it will be my go-to crockpot pork recipe from now on.....

Thanks so much for helping my family eat more healthy, and more cost-saving, meals!

Vicki said...

I made this on Saturday and it was DELISH!!! Excellent flavors - juicy pork, we had it in flour tortillas and corn tortillas and on crusty bread...with diced avocado, tomatoe and cilantro...YUMMMMEEE...this will be on future meal plans for SURE - thanks so much for the recipe!!!!

Pinkcherries64 said...

This is in my slow cooker RIGHT now! It smells delicious!!!! Can't wait to try it! Thanks! :)
~Amy

Judy said...

This was great!! My 3yo liked it too;BONUS. I served it w shredded cabbage. I also wrapped my tortillas in foil and put them in the slow cooker while shredding the cabbage. Will make again:). Thanks!!

LeslieHellerman said...

This made the best carnitas we have ever eaten. The lime and orange juice added a lovely citrus flavor and kept the meat moist through several days of leftovers. We served with brown rice, black beans, and the usual taco toppings of cheese, salsa, avocado, and sour cream. This will be in our regular recipe rotation.

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