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Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

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Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas with Heirloom Tomato Salsa // Shop the farmers market for the heirloom tomatoes and make this delicious salsa to go on crisp pork carnitas.

It is hard to believe, but summer is almost over. I am spending the last few days of summer sitting on the beach with my Kindle finishing up my summer reads.

I have read so many great books this summer. It was indulgent. I had forgotten how much I love to read, and how much I need to. I’ll post some of my favorites later, I need to narrow it down, my list is long!

This summer was not the best for our garden. Our peppers and herbs did great, but the tomatoes got blithe and as you can guess, we had to get rid of our tomato plants.

Thankfully we have a great farmers market here in Alexandria. We like to go on Saturday mornings, grab a pastry and a coffee from one of the vendors, and take a walk around the market before we make our decisions.

I have learned the hard way to make sure to see all of the booths before you buy. I have bought things early on, only to be disappointed when I find it for a better price or something better at a booth near the exit.

Shopping the farmers market is not just shopping, but an experience, so I like to take my time. You get to know the vendors and growers week after week. I learn so much from them. You cannot always do that in a grocery store.

I am not a huge tomato fan, it really disappoints my family – I am from New Jersey after all. Tomato season in NJ is a big deal. I do really like heirloom tomatoes, and I love them in salsa. They are sweeter and have a better texture. I like how many different colors and varieties that you can get at the farmers market.

After buying some gorgeous tomatoes, I put some pork in the slow cooker on Sunday and went about my day. By dinnertime, I had the most tender carnitas.

I used my heirlooms for a quick salsa. and added some sliced radishes that I also bought to finish off these tacos. Not only is this easy and delicious, it is so beautiful from the yellow and red tomatoes.

I can’t wait to see what awaits me next week. Fall produce should start to make an appearance soon. Can you say apple pie?

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

Yield: serves 4

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas with Heirloom Tomato Salsa - tacos that are almost too pretty to eat.



  • 2 pounds boneless pork loin, trimmed of fat
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1 orange, halved
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped

Heirloom Tomato Salsa

  • 2 heirloom tomatoes, diced
  • 1/3 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1/4 cup radish, thinly sliced
  • Old El Paso flour tortillas, 10-count for soft tacos and fajitas


  1. Wash and dry pork loin. Rub both sides with salt and pepper. Rub pork with olive oil. Sprinkle both sides with oregano, cumin, and orange zest. Place the pork in a slow cooker and top with onion and garlic. Squeeze orange halves over pork. Cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours or on HIGH for 4 hours.
  2. Once the meat is tender, remove from slow cooker and let cool slightly before pulling apart with a fork.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper.
  4. Heat tortillas according to package directions. Add pork, salsa, shredded cabbage, and sliced radish.
Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0Total Fat: 0g

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Saturday 14th of December 2013

This sounds really good! I'm sending my husband to the grocery store now.

I think a little detail was omitted, though: How am I supposed to use the sprigs of thyme that appear in the ingredient list?



Saturday 14th of December 2013

You put the thyme in the slow cooker with the other ingredients.

Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine)

Monday 26th of August 2013

Carnitas always look so good, and so much better than box tacos, but I have yet to put aside the time to make them. Need to get on that!


Monday 26th of August 2013

I wish that when recipes are posted there is something that specifies how many people it feeds so the amounts can be adjusted. Thanks.


Wednesday 28th of August 2013

Please assume that they feed 4 to 6. I feed my family of 5 with very recipe.


Monday 26th of August 2013

For "old world" authentic Mexican carnitas tacos our Mexican family always uses corn tortilla (sometimes two per taco if steamed) steamed or fried. Flour tortillas are never used for tacos anywhere I have been but I see it more and more in the U.S. online for modern Mexican cooking. We also never use pork loin. We use a standard shoulder pork roast. I pressure cook mine to cook it fast. (It can be roasted but takes a few hours). We don't use spices or herbs in the pressure cooking and shred the meat after cooking, fry and salt it in a dry pan to make it crispy or spread it on a cookie sheet and put it under the broiler for a couple of minues until it is crispy. Pork loin is too lean to get it crispy. OK for some but most Mexican families like the crispy in our experience. At least most families in Southern California that are of Mexican heritage. Many Mexicans and Mexican Americans in Texas have not even heard of carnitas to our surprise. We have had to pass along the recipe. Our salsa is pico de gallo made from one bunch of chopped fresh cilantro, chopped and seeded tomatoes, and the green part of the spring onions chopped. Lime juice is optional. (Seed the tomatoes and use no salt in the pico de gallo and it will last at least a week fresh in a closed container.) This is how we and most restaurants and trucks do carnitas in Cal and this recipe posted here is a very different take on carnitas but it looks wonderful especially the salsa. . : )

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