RECIPE | Melt In Your Mouth Crock Pot Pork Carnitas |

RECIPE | Melt-In-Your-Mouth Crock Pot Pork Carnitas

Well, it’s happened. I’ve taken my obsession with Topo Chico to a whole new level. I’ve managed to add it into a recipe finally and I have to tell ya, i’m pretty damn impressed.

What’s Topo Chico sparkling mineral water? I’m sure some of you are asking yourself this because I would have been asking that very thing before moving to Texas. Well, it’s a super bubbly mineral water known for coming in glass bottles. They are my absolute FAVORITE thing to drink because I love how crisp the bubbles are and the glass bottle makes it fun too.

Anyways, I decided to use Topo Chico as a part of this recipe and I think it turned out pretty darn delicious.

RECIPE | Melt In Your Mouth Crock Pot Pork Carnitas

I wanted to make this recipe a more vinegar-garlic flavor profile rather than a smokey, chipotle flavor. Just for personal preference and I believe this ingredient combination has nailed it, while also making a super tender meat.

RECIPE | Melt In Your Mouth Crock Pot Pork Carnitas

This recipe begins with pork. Yup, pork. While this is not a meat I typically cook with, sometimes you need a break from chicken or fish. For a good guide on the nutrition facts on pork, check out this post from The Food Network: Pork: Good or Bad.

I believe in protein & balance. While pork is not something I would eat regularly, I do think that when eaten in the right portions and only occasionally, it can be a great protein source, even better than chicken when you eat lean cuts, which typically have the name ‘loin’ in them.

For this recipe, I used a 5lb boneless pork shoulder roast. Again, this is not something I eat all the time, but I know now to get the ‘loin’ cuts for the most lean option.

You will season your pork roast with a wet rub prior to placing in your crock pot.

RECIPE | Melt In Your Mouth Crock Pot Pork Carnitas |

The wet rub will act more like a paste and you will slather on half the rub all over the pork roast, then sear the pork roast over medium heat for 2 minutes per side.

RECIPE | Melt In Your Mouth Crock Pot Pork Carnitas |

Once you have seared in that first layer of the wet rub, you’ll pull your pork roast off the heat and let it rest on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Then you will add on the other half of the wet rub to the pork roast and let it sit for a few minutes while you prepare it’s “bath time” in the crock pot.

RECIPE | Melt In Your Mouth Crock Pot Pork Carnitas |

Would you just look at that?! It’s not even cooked yet and it looks amazing.

Now you can add in all your liquid ingredients to your crock pot to prep for adding the meat. Once you lay your pork roast in it’s “bath” I like to sprinkle on some fresh onion and cilantro.

RECIPE | Melt In Your Mouth Crock Pot Pork Carnitas |

Now you’re in a waiting game. Cook this baby on low for 8-10 hours. Then you have the final and possibly the MOST IMPORTANT part ahead. Don’t skip this part because what I’ve learned in my pork carnitas research is that having crispy edges is absolutely KEY to a pork carnitas recipe.

So once you’ve reached the end of the crock-pot cook time, it’s time to get the pork out on a parchment paper lined baking sheet (with edges) and shred it all over the pan.

RECIPE | Melt In Your Mouth Crock Pot Pork Carnitas |

Yeah, I bet you’re wondering what to do with all those delicious juices left in the crock pot. Well it’s time to put them to use again! Add about two ladles drizzled all over the meat before you pop it in the oven to crisp up for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, remove your pan, add two more ladles of the juice all over the meat and then pop back in the oven on broil for about 5 minutes or so. Keep an eye on it as you will be able to tell when it begins to look crisped on the edges.

This recipe is the epitome of good things are worth the wait. Luckily though, the smells that will fill your house will keep you drooling ALL. DAY. LONG.

Recipe Serving // There are 26 3oz. servings in a 5lb. roast
Macro Breakdown // 84 calories | 6.1g fat | 2.4g carbs | 4.9g protein

I N G R E D I E N T S //

For the the “bath” part that you will put in the crock pot…

  • 4-5lb. boneless pork shoulder roast (for a leaner cut, go for the loin roast but I can’t guarantee it will be ‘melt-in-your-mouth’) 
  • 1 cup white onion (chopped)
  • 6 roasted garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 cup of orange juice (fresh orange juice would work well for this too)
  • 12 oz. Topo Chico
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup beef bone broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

For the wet rub that will go on the pork roast…

  • 2 tbls. olive oil
  • 3 tbls. tomato paste
  • 1 tbls. cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1 tsp. onion powder

I N S T R U C T I O N S //

  1. You’ll want to start this process either the day before or early in the morning so you can enjoy this dish for dinner! Prep time takes about 30 min. Cook time takes 8-10 hours.
  2. Start by lining a baking sheet with parchment paper and laying out your pork roast.
  3. Combine all your ingredients for the wet rub until smooth and thick like a paste. Then you will add about half your wet rub to the roast. Rub it in all over the roast using the back of a spoon.
  4. In a medium skillet over low-med heat, lay your basted roast in to sear on both sides for 2 minutes per side. Then remove the roast from the skillet and place back on your baking sheet. Then rub the remaining half of your wet rub all over the pork roast and allow it to rest while you prep the crock pot “bath”
  5. In your crock pot, add in all your ingredients.  I like to toss in a couple of the lime wedges I used to get fresh lime juice in as something the roast can sit on.
  6. Now you’re ready to lay in the roast in the crock pot “bath” (Sorry if that is weirding you out. I’m not sure what else to call this phase of things!)
  7. Set your crock pot to cook on low for 8 – 10 hours. I just did 8 hours and I got a super tender, fall apart roast.

The last step to your pork carnitas being PERFECTION is the crisping step. Some say this is what defines pork carnitas from just a shredded pork dish.

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Once your pork roast is done in the crock pot, fish it all out and shred it all on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  3. Ladle 2 helpings of the delicious broth the pork just cooked in all over the shredded pork. Then stick the baking sheet in the oven for 20 minutes.
  4. Pull out your pan after 20 minutes and ladle 2 more helpings of the broth over the pork. Then set it under your broiler for close to 5 minutes to really get crisp edges.

Now, you enjoy! And enjoy you will. This pork was so flavorful and it basically melted in my mouth. It is delicious on it’s own in a lean bowl of veggies and cauliflower rice.

RECIPE | Melt In Your Mouth Crock Pot Pork Carnitas |

Or you can use it as the MOST AMAZING filling for enchiladas! Recipe for my Sweet Potato Enchiladas is coming soon!

RECIPE | Melt In Your Mouth Crock Pot Pork Carnitas |

Hope y’all REALLY enjoy this recipe. If you make this one, please be sure to tag me on any social media posts @cookithealthy or #cookedithealthy

xoxo Ashley

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