Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas with Pepper and Lime Sauce

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When I was traveling in Central America, a Mayan women taught me to marinate meat for days in a basic pepper and lime sauce. The spicy marinade gives the pork a nice peppery flavor.  Slow cooking the pork in another pepper sauce gives it the perfect shreddable juicy texture.  Just add a slice of radish and a few cilantro sprigs and you have yourself the perfect taco. Try this Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas with Pepper and Lime Sauce recipe!

If you are like me the holiday season is cray-zee! My family lives close by and we decided a few years back that we would make all of our Christmas presents for each other. The idea is awesome, but my family is super creative.
I’m related to amazing seamstresses, knitters, jewelry makers, glass workers, woodworkers and welders. Which means, during the holidays I seriously have to channel my inner Martha Stewart just to keep up!  So, when I start to get busy in my workshop, I need to have easy slow cooker dishes up my sleeve that are healthy, easy to make and satisfy the urge to indulge in (not-so healthy) take-out. These pork carnitas do the trick!



  • 3 jalapenos sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic smashed and rough chopped
  • 4 Tbsp Kosher salt
  • (Optional) 1 Tbsp honey or agave syrup
  • 1/2 cup lime (~2-3 large limes juiced)
  • 1/2 cup water

Cooking Sauce

  • 2-3 assorted sweet to mild peppers ( I use Poblanos, Anaheim and Sweet)
  • 2 spicy peppers (I use Jalapeno and Serrano)
  • 1/2 yellow onion chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 orange (juiced)
  • 1/2 of a bunch cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp ground allspice

For Carnitas

  • 2-3 lb pork loin
  • Chopped cilantro (garnish)
  • 1-2 radishes (sliced)
  • 2 cup shredded lettuce
  • Tortillas (You can try Paleo Tortillas or Paleo Wraps)
  • Coconut Oil or Non-stick Cooking Spray


  1. Combine pork loin and marinade in a zip-top bag. Let marinate in fridge for at least 24 hours and up to 36 hours. Flip every 12 hours to get even marinating.
    Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
  2. In a blender or food processor combine all the cooking sauce ingredients. Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
  3. Spray the slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray (I use coconut oil spray). Put the marinated pork loin in and cover with the blended cooking sauce.  Optionally, you can melt down coconut oil and apply to the inside of slow cooker.Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
  4. Add water to cover the pork loin completely. Cook on High for 2 hours.
  5. After two hours, reduce to low and cook for 6 hours.
  6. The pork will be done when it shreds at the touch with a fork. Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
  7. Remove pork loin carefully from the slow cooker and discard the sauce. Let cool slightly and shred with a fork.
  8. Heat a cast-iron pan to medium high and slightly sear the shredded pork. (You can skip this step too, but this is what gives carnitas their iconic texture).
  9. Put shredded pork on a paleo wrap or tortilla and garnish with lettuce, radish and cilantro.

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
The good thing about this slow cooker pork is that it can be served on or with anything. So if you don’t include corn tortillas in your paleo diet, no worries! Put it in a lettuce wrap with salsa and avocado or top your favorite plantain chip to make “nachos”. I even like to let it cool and use it for taco salad. However you are most comfortable eating it, these pork carnitas are easy to make and delicious. Perfect for the busy holiday season. Enjoy!

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