Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Slow Cooked with a Little Spice - Salsa Verde Pork Carnitas (prepared in a crock pot)

I love using my crock pot, but I get tired of so many recipes using cream of something. I realize half the reason we use crock pots is so we can just toss in all the ingredients, and forget about it. But, I think crock pot recipes always come out better when there is a good mix of both fresh and prepared ingredients.

With that in mind, I created this Salsa Verde Pork Carnitas recipe. I love the slow roasted pork we get at our favorite Mexican restaurant. But trying to recreate it at home means I have to stay in the house with the boys, while the pork slowly roasts in the oven all day. No thanks! The crock pot was my perfect solution.

When making the carnitas, you can control the heat. I don't use the jalapenos, but included them as an optional ingredient for those who like a spicier dish. By using a mild salsa verde, the recipe still has flavor, but isn't too spicy for my little ones to enjoy. Feel free to use whatever spice level you prefer.

Salsa Verde Pork Carnitas (prepared in a crock pot)
serves 4-6

* 3 pounds pork tenderloin roast or pork butt (or similar cut)
* 16 ounce jar of salsa verde (green salsa)
* fresh juice from 1/2 large lime
* 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped (roughly, a handful chopped)
* 1/4 cup brown onion, chopped
* 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
* salt and pepper to taste
* Optional* diced jalapenos (add to your spice preference)


Place pork in crock pot. Pour salsa over pork. Evenly distribute remaining ingredients over the top of the pork and in the salsa. Cover crock pot and cook on high for 6-8 hours. Every few hours spoon sauce over the top of pork (I know it goes against most "crock pot rules"). When cooking is complete, remove the pork and place on a cutting board. Shred pork with a fork or roughly chop with a knife. (the tenderness varies depending on the cut of pork). Return the pork to the sauce. Cook on low for 20-30 minutes.

Serving suggestion: Serve on warm tortillas, garnish with sour cream, chopped onion, fresh cilantro and shredded cheese. Black beans and rice make an excellent side.

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  1. Gosh - this looks great! I love Mexican style pork but had no idea how to try making it at home. Will let you know how it turns out in my kitchen...

  2. It's so easy! Let me know how it turns out for you.

  3. I think I'll try this one this week. The recipe is very similar to a pork verde recipe I use. For a soupier version just add chicken broth, oregano, and fresh cilantro and just let it simmer. Voila!

  4. Allison,

    Made your carnitas tonight. It was great and so easy! Stater Bros did not have unmarinated pork tenderloin so I got the pork loin instead. i have no idea what the difference is between these two cuts but the loin came out wonderful! Served just as you suggested. My husband loved it. He works in Lynnwood surrounded by a bunch of authentic taco joints so he knows carnitas. He thought your version was just as good as King Taco or even better!

  5. Just wanted to let you know that I made your carnitas again yesterday - so yummy! My in laws came for dinner and loved it!