Say hello to our favourite Slow Cooked Mexican Pork Carnitas Recipe! This dish is a fiesta in your mouth! (sorry about the joke….)  Juicy, tender pork that’s been lovingly slow-cooked to perfection. Imagine the aroma of citrus, garlic, and spices dancing through your home, a bit like going to your local Mexican restaurant.

We love this recipe and have made it a few times now. Once it’s prepped you let the oven do all the work. So, grab your sombrero, crank up the mariachi music, and let’s get cooking. 🌟


slow cooked pork tacos


Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Once you’ve transformed that pork shoulder into a tender, shredded masterpiece, the real fun begins! From pork sliders that are so tasty they’ll make your taste buds do the cha-cha. Or toss that succulent pork onto corn tortillas, decked out with your favorite toppings. Need a quick lunch? Wrap it up literally in for a “salad wrap” option. And  an awesome variation for taco night too.

Or keep it simple and serve it solo in a burrito bowl with some Mexican rice and salsa that’s so delicious. It’s a super versatile, an easy to eat dinner that everyone will love.

If you’re a lover of slow cooked meals then you might also like our Easy Slow Cooker Beef Massaman Curry.


Recipe Ingredients

ingredients for pork carnitas


“You’ll need the following ingredients to make this amazing slow cooker pork carnitas recipe.


Boneless Pork Shoulder – around 2.250 kg. This cut of meat it prefect for slow cooking.

Garlic & onion – 4 cloves and a red onion for this recipe

Beer – we used a dark beer for this recipe but you can use a pale light flavoured one if you prefer. (around 375 ml’s)

Stock – just a little to add even more flavorful goodness

Lime & Orange – we use both the juice and the rinds and gives a beautiful touch of zest-iness

Chili – chopped fresh.

Olive oil – for getting that browning for yummy flavour

Spices – cumin, oregano, coriander, chili and garlic powder, smoked paprika (more on that below)

Salt & sugar




Mexican spice rub for Pork Carnitas


Ingredient Notes

This Pork Carnitas spice mix is super simple to mix up with so much flavor. Make it as spicy as you like or just as. The whole family including the kids will enjoy it. These Mexican spices aren’t anything out of the ordinary and you’ll most likely have them on hand at home in your pantry.

Chili’s. As for the fresh chili’s the rule of thumb is that the longer red chili’s are usually les on the hot side.  The smaller ones like the birds eye are hot.  Buyer beware. Taking out the seeds does help lessen the spicy hotness.

If you want to be sure this guide from the Webstaurant Store Blog will give you an idea on just how hot some chili’s may be.


How to make Slow Cooked Mexican Pork Carnitas Recipe STEP BY STEP


  1. Cut the pork shoulder into 6cm chunks. Pop all the spices into a large bowl and and coat the meat chunks with the spice mix.


pork carnitas spice rub (1)


2. Brown the seasoned pork in a large Dutch oven on the cook top with a little olive. Set the meat aside and brown the onions for 2-3 mins, then the garlic for a minute and deglaze with the beer and chicken stock. Then add the browned meat back in along with the chopped fresh chili and juice and rinds of the lime and orange.


slow cooked Dutch oven pork carnitas (1) (1)






















3. Cook for 3-3.5 hours until pork is lovely and tender. (cook time may vary). Shred with a fork and transfer onto a sheet pan in a single layer and pop under the grill for 3-5 minutes until a little crisp on top and lightly browned. Add some of the saved pan  juices and drizzle back on top of the crispy pork carnitas meat to keep it nice and juicy..



slow cooking Dutch oven pork carnitas (1)



What to serve with your Pork Carnitas.

Serve your Pork Carnitas with your favorite side dishes.

On tortillas with some freshly pickled red onions, guacamole, crunchy red cabbage and a homemade corn salsa. Rather delish! Our second options was super simple and just topped with a creamy coleslaw on a tortilla.

Whether you’re planning a taco and burrito night, or just want to jazz up your dinner routine, these pork carnitas are so easy and just might steal the show.

how to serve your pork carnitas (1)



what to serve with pork carnitas (1)


Storage and Reheating

Store any leftover Pork Carnitas in an airtight container in the fridge.  To reheat just pop into the microwave for a couple of minutes to warm through. To avoid drying add a little bit of water in with the meat to keep it moist.



Want to try some of our salads to go with your Pork Carnitas?

Then grab our 12 Summer Salads with 7 Ingredients or less eBook?

Grab your FREE copy and download straight away.  😍

12 summer Salads with 7 ingredients or less


Recipe Card


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Slow Cooked Mexican Pork Carnitas Recipe
Slow Cooked Mexican Pork Carnitas Recipe
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
3 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main Course, Slow Cooker
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Servings: 6
Calories: 397 kcal
  • 2.25 kg pork shoulder cut into 6cm cubes
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 0.5 tab cumin
  • 1 tab brown sugar
  • 1 tab dried oregano
  • 1 tab ground coriander
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tabs olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 red onion peeled and cut into quarters
  • 1 375ml beer
  • 1 lime cut in half
  • 1 orange cut in half
  • 1 chili fresh cut finely.
  • ¾ cup chicken stock
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160 degree Celsius.

  2. Mix all the spices and rub into the pork pieces until evenly coated.

  3. Heat the Dutch oven on the cook top on medium heat, add the olive oil and brown the pork pieces in batches till golden brown. If needed add more oil in-between the batches. Set aside.

  4. Add the onion and garlic to the pan, and brown for 2-3 minutes. If needed add a little water to loosen the flavorful bits on the Dutch oven, season with salt and then pour in the beer to deglaze along with the chicken stock and add the pork back in.

    Squeeze the juice of the lime and orange into the beer pork mix and throw in the rinds and the chopped fresh chili.

  5. Pop lid onto the pan and place into the oven and cook for 3 to 3.5 hours until the pork is lovely and tender,

  6. Remove the lime and orange rind and pop the pork onto a tray and allow to cook a little. (save the liquid and set aside). Shred with two forks and place the meat under the griller for 3-5 minutes until lightly browned and a little crisp on the top.

    Add a little of the cooking liquid to the forked meat and place into a bowl ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

Serve in tortilla wraps with crunchy coleslaw, fresh chili's, pickled onion and dollops of guacamole or your favourite toppings.  

Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooked Mexican Pork Carnitas Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 397 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 8g
Cholesterol 154mg51%
Sodium 1002mg44%
Potassium 974mg28%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 47g94%
Vitamin A 425IU9%
Vitamin C 30mg36%
Calcium 83mg8%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

About Sonya

Slow Cooked Mexican Pork Carnitas Recipe 1Helloooo, I'm Sonya and I'm one of those late starter's in the exercise department. (but you know you're never too late to start). A retired beauty therapist who likes geeking out in the online world, loves 4-legged fury friends, baking and gardening.