Carnitas in the Crockpot

This Carnitas recipe has been on repeat over here all summer long, the flavor I get out of the meat from Riven Rock farms can’t be beat. I have also noticed that when I order meat from a healthy animal you actually need less in order to feel full because it is so nutrient dense. You can order from this farm and others through Fall Line Farms, they have multiple farms and co-ops on their site and lots of pickup locations in the Richmond area. I generally use their pastured pork shoulder/pork butt for this recipe but sometimes I might use a pork loin which is leaner. This is one of those recipes that is so easy to modify and the serving options are endless! You can have it with any of my salsas. These kinds of Mexican or Southwest flavors all go so well together especially in the summer when things like tomatoes, limes, corn and peppers are all in season! Sometimes I just have this on a plate with tons of grilled veggies and some guacamole and salsa drizzled on top. Delicious!

Adobo Seasoning

You can buy this mix at Penzeys but here is my homemade mix:

2 tbsp. sea salt
1 tbsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. mexican oregano
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbs. chili powder

For the Carnitas


4 lb. pork shoulder (boneless) or 5 lb. pork shoulder (bone in)

Generous amount of adobo seasoning

2 tbsp. rendered pork fat or ghee

1 Guiness beer (you can really use any kind of beer but Guiness has a deep flavor that I like in the meat)

1 large onion thinly sliced


1. Heat crock pot to high heat.

2. Slice onion and place at the bottom of the crockpot.

3. Coat the pork shoulder generously with the adobo seasoning.

4. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.

5. Using rendered pork fat or ghee, sear seasoned pork shoulder until a crust appears on all sides. (Don’t rush this step because this is where the flavor comes from) This will take about 12 minutes or so.

6. Place seared pork on top of onions in crock pot.

7. Pour the bottle of beer into the skillet to deglaze the pan using your spatula to get up any brown bits from the bottom. Let alcohol cook off for about 2 minutes.

8. Pour beer mixture over the pork in the crockpot and put the lid on.

9. Cook on high for about 4 hours and then on low for about 2 hours. If you are going to be away all day just put your crockpot on low and the pork can cook 8+ hours until ready to eat.

10. Remove pork from crockpot and shred adding any juices you might need for moisture.

This can be served inside a corn tortilla as a taco or on top of some tortilla chips or over a bed of lettuce. I love to serve this on a large platter with some guacamole, homemade salsa and any grilled vegetables. See my Grilled Skirt Steak Platter for ideas on what to serve alongside the carnitas, I serve them both in similar ways. Like I said this is also great with the Chipotle Salsa or my Easy Tomato Salsa. Enjoy!