Paleo Crock Pot Pork Shoulder Pernil Carnitas Style

lose up of the pork shoulder pernil carnitas style served with avocado tomatillo sauce and chorizo no grain cauliflower rice

Dinner was HEAVEN tonight and that is no exaggeration. Pork Shoulder Pernil “Carnitas style” served with Avocado Tomatillo Sauce and Chorizo No Grain Cauliflower Rice

Ok everyone, hold the phone….I made another Cuban inspired crock pot meal. The way I see it is, life is too short to just have one pork shoulder/ pork butt slow cooker meal in your repertoire. Two nights ago I made this pork meal and it was too good to hold out on you guys so I knew I had to create a blog post STAT. Since I have gotten so many hits and searches for my first Cuban Crock Pot Pernil I decided to make another recipe with a few new twists (and ingredients). This 2.0 version of my Cuban Paleo Crock Pot Pork Shoulder is just as good as the previous IF NOT BETTER. Again, a lot of people think pork is not healthy but I want to put an end to that myth right here and right now. I must remind you that pork tenderloin is leaner and has less saturated fat than chicken; there is a reason why it is referred to the other white meat. Similarly, pork shoulder and pork butt cuts, although more fatty or marbled, have so much flavor that a little goes a long way. A trick to cut down on the saturated fat in these cuts is I simply trim off a lot of the excess fat; it’s not rocket science. There is no reason to avoid pork.

I love pork for 4 reasons:

1. It is less fat and healthier than other red meats.
2. It is flavorful.
3. It is forgiving and cooks well in the crock pot; it usually doesn’t dry out like chicken.
4. It is cheap. I paid $1.99 a pound for the pork shoulder last week and you can find pork tenderloin when it goes on sale anywhere from $2.50 to $2.99 a pound.  That’s a bargain!

Going back to the recipe, I served this yummy pork with an amazing chorizo no grain cauliflower rice and that is why I think this recipe is now one of my new fave crock pot recipes. When you make this recipe TRY the cauliflower rice. It was THAT good. If you are scared or just not feeling the paleo lifestyle, then substitute brown rice for the cauliflower. Either way, the flavors were amazing! When we were all said and done with this meal, Ben and I ate 1 and 1/2 bags of cauliflower in addition to all the pork! And yes folks that was in one sitting. I also served the pork with my yummy avocado tomatillo sauce, another favorite in my house. If you end up with more pork left over than you expected, try one of my two favorite “leftover makeover” meals: Mexican Carnitas or Breakfast Suited for Kings.

I am still dreaming about this meal. No joke. The pork was so moist and there are so many options for you to use the pork leftovers. My personal favorite is adding it to your eggs in the morning. The kids love when I make them quesadillas with left over pork. I also add shredded leftover pork to my salads the following day for lunch. Eat it plain, throw it in a soup, or make a pulled pork BBQ sandwich, the possibilities are endless. Pork is so good, I promise you won’t have too many leftovers.

 

5.0 from 22 reviews

Paleo Crock Pot Pork Shoulder Pernil Carnitas Style
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
The way I see it is, life is too short to not have some pork shoulder/ pork butt slow cooker meals in your repertoire. This makes a ton of tender and delicious pork.
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Paleo
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 7 lbs. of pork shoulder
  • 5-7 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons of black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of oregano
  • ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoon of salt
  • juice of 2 limes
  • juice of 1 orange
Instructions
  1. Trim the fat as much as possible from the pork shoulder. It is obviously ok to leave some on but if you can eliminate the big amounts of “white,” it will save you later from separating the pork from the fat once the pork has been cooked. Also it cuts down on the saturated fat.
  2. Mix all your dry spices together and rub it into the flesh of the pork on all sides.
  3. Place dry rubbed pork in crock pot and add the minced garlic and the fresh squeezed lime and orange juices.
  4. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
  5. Once cooked to your desired liking, shred all the pork off the fat and bone. This step was so easy; the pork was so moist it just fell off the bone.
  6. Optional: To make the pork seem more like carnitas preheat oven to Broil. Spread the pork on a cookie sheet and pour some of the remainder juices from the crock pot and cook for 5-10 minutes until the edges of the pork are browned.
  7. Serve with the Avocado Tomatillo Sauce and No Grain Chorizo Cauliflower Rice.
  8. Eat and be prepared for the party in your mouth that is coming! So good.

 

Crock Pot Pork Shoulder Pernil Carnitas Style Ingredients

Crock Pot Pork Shoulder Pernil “Carnitas Style” Ingredients

Cutting the extra fat on the pork shoulder to fit into the crock pot

Cutting the extra fat on the pork shoulder to fit into the crock pot and minimize the saturated fat

Crock Pot Pork Shoulder Pernil Carnitas Style Dry Spices Rub

Crock Pot Pork Shoulder Pernil “Carnitas Style’ Dry Spices Rub

Crock Pot Pork Shoulder Pernil Carnitas Style with the dry rub in the slow cooker

Crock Pot Pork Shoulder Pernil “Carnitas Style” with the dry rub in the slow cooker

Crock Pot Pork Shoulder Pernil "Carnitas Style" with citrus juices and garlic is ready to cook in the slow cooker

Crock Pot Pork Shoulder Pernil “Carnitas Style” with citrus juices and garlic is ready to cook in the slow cooker

Crock Pot Pork Shoulder Pernil Carnitas style cooked all day in the slow cooker

Crock Pot Pork Shoulder Pernil “Carnitas style” cooked all day in the slow cooker. Pork shredded so easily and was so juicy.

Crock Pot Pork Shoulder Pernil Carnitas Style shredded and ready to eat

Crock Pot Pork Shoulder Pernil “Carnitas Style” shredded and ready to eat.

Cuban Crock Pot Pork Shoulder Pernil Carnitas style

Cuban Crock Pot Pork Shoulder Pernil Carnitas style up close and ready to devour. served with Avocado Tomatillo Sauce and No Grain Chorizo Cauliflower Rice

So are you hooked yet?

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59 Responses to “Paleo Crock Pot Pork Shoulder Pernil Carnitas Style”

  1. BenDecember 7, 2012 at 9:50 am #

    I really like this one.

  2. HollyJanuary 20, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

    Made this tonight and reblogged- so good!!

    • LauraJanuary 20, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

      Isn’t so easy and so good? Did you broil the pork or just cook it as is? I always like to see what others do? The chorizo no grain cauliflower rice is my fave too!

    • roseFebruary 5, 2013 at 1:17 am #

      So good! We have made it 2x this week. Once with a roast and once with boneless loin chops (which I prefer). The last step – broiling the meat made it absolutely wonderful! We served it with fresh guac, salsa, lime and cilanto – in lettuce wraps or corn tortillas – YUM!!!!

  3. StellaJanuary 24, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

    Very, very good! I had to shrink it down to a 1.5 lb. piece of meat, but it was really easy to do the math on the spices, etc. According to hubbs – “this one’s a winner!”
    We didn’t make it with the chorizo “rice”, though. I’m out of cauliflower. Instead, we used it to top tostadas – along with refried beans, cheese, avocado, tomato and onion. Tomorrow, I’m eating it with eggs for breakfast.

  4. MelindaJanuary 27, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    We made this last night – amazing! We did broil it finish it off as you suggested. This recipe definitely going to be one of our favorites. Thanks for sharing.

    • LauraJanuary 27, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

      Thanks for the feedback Melinda. Let me know if you try any of my other recipes!!! Keep cooking! Laura

  5. BeckyFebruary 10, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

    Tried this one for the first time and it is AMAZING!!! We forgot to make the avocado tomatillo sauce but it is still delicious without it. But we’ll definitely include it next time. I imagine it tames the spices a bit! Thank you Laura!! Muy Delicioso!

    • LauraFebruary 10, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

      So glad you liked it Becky and coming from you that is a big compliment since you are a food connoisseur! xoxo. Let me know if you try anything else!

      • JulieJune 22, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

        Laura,

        I am looking at reviews for my question- did you put any water in the crock pot? Is is JUST the juices of the limes and orange?

        • LauraJune 23, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

          Julie,

          I thought I already replied earlier. My apologies but YES no other liquid is needed. The juices from the pork will suffice. happy cooking!

        • JulieJune 24, 2014 at 8:29 pm #

          Thanks for the email back! I have it all prepped and ready to go for before work tomorrow. I was going to drawn it in juice if I didnt hear back from you, thanks again!

  6. Christine D.February 17, 2013 at 10:43 am #

    I made this yesterday and really liked it! I might cut out the cinnamon next time or cut it in half because I could really taste it. Otherwise, I really liked it.

    • LauraFebruary 26, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

      Awesome Christine and thanks for letting us know about your modification. It could defintely help another follower. I love sweets so I didn’t notice the overpowering cinnamon taste. :)

  7. ThaoFebruary 23, 2013 at 9:56 am #

    Thank you for this recipe! Just made it last night. Flavors are simply amazing! Will definitely make this again.

    • LauraFebruary 26, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

      Thanks Thao!

  8. Jen Comas KeckFebruary 26, 2013 at 10:39 am #

    This recipe is amazing! Our new favorite. Thanks so much!

    • LauraFebruary 26, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

      Jen, it is one of our faves too! Thanks for stopping by! Happy cooking! Laura

  9. Bill ContresceriMarch 7, 2013 at 11:29 pm #

    I made both the Pork Shoulder and the Avocado Tomatillo Sauce. Since I had a 9lb shoulder, I had to use a turkey roast pan with a lid and baked it in the oven at 200 for about 14 hours. I started the cooking process before going to bed and after waking up, turned up the heat to 225. I basted the roast and turned it a few times and in the end, it turned out fall off the bone. I agree that the cinnamon was a bit overpowering, but I adjusted the spices to make a bit more heat and it turned out great. I also made the Tomatillo Sauce and added a bit more salt, fresh cracked pepper and a splash of tobasco which rounded things out to my liking. Both recipes turned out great and I have already integrated the shredded shoulder roast into a chili relleno casserole which I used to stuff the peppers and it turned out great. Also used the tomatillo sauce and it was a solid hit!

  10. Mollyb.March 12, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

    I found this blog while looking for things to do with pork. My husband decided to raise hogs so we have a freezer FULL of all things hog. It was so yummy!!! Made the cauliflower rice to go with (and I do not really like cauliflower). Tasty. Kids age 4 and 1 1/2 cleared their plates :) Thank you!!!

  11. NickApril 10, 2013 at 2:37 am #

    Hello Laura, loved the recipe, but I kept the saturated fat in. I was just wondering why you removed it as I thought keeping it in was part of the whole paleo ethos?

    • LauraApril 13, 2013 at 10:01 pm #

      Nick, great question. You are absolutely right; saturated fat is GOOD! It feels so invigorating saying that too after so many years of everyone telling us fat was bad and low calorie foods were “healthy.” In fact research shows that fat consumption can make people happy and is our primary source of energy. Having that said, since the pork shoulder/ butt is a fattier cut of meat, I just take “some” fat off so it is easier when I am shredded the meat at the end of the day in he crock pot. Believe me there is enough fat to go around. Thanks for checking in and please come back! Happy cooking!

  12. KristinaApril 10, 2013 at 11:12 pm #

    Thank you Laura!! I found this recipe while looking for something new to try with boneless pork shoulder ribs in the crock pot. Not only did I make this but I also tried your avocado tomatillo sauce, and lime cilantro cauliflower. Each item by itself, awesome… as a meal, amazing! I am not a frequent cook but got rave reviews on this meal. Next time I’m looking for something new to try I will most definitely check out other things from your blog! For this recipe, I would likely not change a thing but if anything would reduce the salt a tad and don’t think the cinnamon is overpowering.

    • LauraApril 13, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

      Thanks Kristina for the great feedback. I also LOVE LOVE LOVE that tomatillo sauce. I would wear it as perfume if I could get away with it. As for the lime cilantro rice, I am with you. It is my fave (along with my chorizo cauliflower rice) because it is good alone! Keep up the cooking! I love cooking more for the fact that every time I make something that is healthy and tastes amazing, I feel like I won the lottery! I know I am a dor but it’s true. I win! And so can you, your fam, your waistline, your health, etc!

  13. ChristineApril 29, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

    Laura

    Hands down, this is your best recipe ever! I almost licked the plate. Thanks. :-)

  14. rdubyaMay 10, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    Thank you for a great recipe. My initial apprehension about the amount (or lack) of citrus juices on the ingredients lists was effectively put to rest. The pork was extraordinary, the whole family was blown away. The cumin was by far the most prominent spice for us, and I failed to use enough salt as directed. Will attempt a few minor tweaks to the spices next round based on my own subjective preferences, but otherwise I cant imagine cooking pork shoulder any other way for a while. Feeds a ton of people too, last night we made tacos with the leftovers and it was just as good if not better than the first night. So awesome. Thanks!!

  15. MonnahMay 22, 2013 at 10:14 pm #

    Amazingly tasty! I did it with lime and apple instead of the lemon and orange, really yummy. Next time I’ll try it with the original juices. Thank you so much for sharing!

    • LauraMay 24, 2013 at 8:01 pm #

      Apple?! Interesting. I will definitely have to try that. Thanks for letting us know, that is the best part about this recipe; it’s so forgiving and flexible. Love hearing all the variations.

  16. StephanieJune 2, 2013 at 9:49 pm #

    Is the juice from the limes and oranges enough to cover/cook the pork or do you also add water? Is it fully submersed in liquid?

    • LauraJune 2, 2013 at 11:22 pm #

      Yes! Yes! And Yes! The pork will emit enough juices in the cooking process to keep it moist. Go for it! I l heart this recipe.

      • MariaDecember 29, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

        Hi, today is my first time trying my crock pot. I bought pork shoulder, only 2.5 pounds so I will cut the recipe in half and my crock pot in only 4quarts. I am unclear on whether I should add more liquid to cover the meat. Could you please get back to me so I can get it cooking? thanks so much! I am looking forward to this amazing recipe!

        • LauraDecember 29, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

          Maria,

          You do not need to add additional liquid to cover the pork since this cut is fatty enough and will emit enough liquids to cook the pork without drying it out. What I usually do is halfway during the cooking process I do flip it over to make sure it is moist throughout. To clarify, first I cook it fat side up and then half way during the slow cooking time, I flip it over. All the juices you need comes from the citrus and the protein. Does that make sense? Good luck!

  17. Blipomi@yahoo.comJune 7, 2013 at 11:36 am #

    Hi Laura! I absolutely LOVE this recipe! I am making it for the third time and this time serving it to friends! The Tomatillo Sauce is the perfect compliment! You are a gifted cook and I am loading my “Recipe Book” with lots of new ideas! Thanks!

    • LauraJune 7, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

      I LOVE this recipe too! I actually have it in my crock pot as I type for me to devour tonight with the yummy tomatillo sauce. Thanks for the compliment about my food and help keep spreading the good word. All my recipes are what I can “busy Mom approved.” My requirement for recipes have to be somewhat easy, healthy of course, but of course TASTY because who has time to make something that is average?!?! Come back and check out some of my other recipes too and let me know what you think. I am working on a stuffed chicken sweet potato one that is DA BOMB! ?

  18. JenniferJune 12, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

    OMG!!!!! This is beyond delicious! I used pork loin instead of a roast! I know, I know! We must be soul sisters… I love pork loin too! It was so amazing! Will be making this every week! You really need to publish a cook book! I’d buy all my family and friends a copy!

    • LauraJune 12, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

      You are so cute and kind. Thank you. Maybe one day, that’s the plan :) keep cooking and keep coming by and checking us out. I love feedback

  19. Kris WheelerJune 15, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

    Making this for Father’s day so hopefully I don’t mess it up. I followed all the directions, just hope its really not that hot for the kids and wife. Looking forward to it and it already smells nom nom.

  20. DeadSpiderJune 27, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    I’m so glad I stumbled upon this recipe a few months back. My first time cooking pork shoulder in my slow cooker and it was amazing. Bad new was I forgot to bookmark the site… but after much searching [and wanting to cook this again] I found it.

    Thanks you for the awesome recipe!

  21. ThomJuly 5, 2013 at 9:16 am #

    Aww c’mon folks, do your homework. Stop cutting off and wasting all that lovely saturated fat. That is the essential ingredient in this meat, better for you than even the protein. In spite of the mythology propagated by the food processing industry, there’s not one shred of hard science supporting the myth that it’s bad for you. In fact, the findings of a recent meta-analysis of 21 studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition supports the revelation that not one single study could associate saturated fat with increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, or coronary vascular disease. To the contrary, it is protective. What is giving folks heart disease, diabetes and obesity is the sugars and carbs, starches and grains. Get those out of your food supply and eat more fat. That’s what’s good for you. Study. Think. Do the research…

    • LauraJuly 11, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

      Thom, you are right saturated fat is GOOD, no one is saying it is not. I personally take “some” of the fat off in this particular recipe so I don’t have to take it off later when I am shredding the pork when it is cooked. Thanks for your comment.

  22. KeilyJuly 18, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

    Awesome just the way you said! My foodie husband couldn’t get enough. We also loved it as pulled pork BBQ sandwiches with homemade coleslaw. Will be making this recipe from now on.

  23. ElsieSeptember 6, 2013 at 11:18 am #

    Thank you for the great recipe; it was really tasty. I did it with a four pound pork loin and kept the spices the same (I just omitted the cinnamon because I’m not a fan of that flavor). Next time I think I will add more lime towards the end of the cooking time. When it was time to eat, the lime flavor was no longer there but it still tasted great. I ate this as a sandwich and my fiance ate it over rice and pigeon peas.

  24. whitefamilySeptember 19, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

    A friend of a friend who is Paleo brought this to a party and I cornered him for the recipe. I made it recently and had to look up what Paleo was… I’ve made it twice now and saw this friend recently and we talked about Paleo. I bought a book and am going to give it a try. Thanks for this amazing recipe. Everything on your site looks fantastic. Can’t wait to try more out!

  25. JanOctober 9, 2013 at 11:57 am #

    I would like to try this recipe without ruining 7 lbs. of pork. What brand/size of crockpot do you have? I bought a new one a few years ago because the old one was looking shabby. But, it cooks the food way to hot! I never use the high setting and when it is set on low all day, the food begins to boil and burn around the edges. I am looking for one that cooks slowly, like my old one did. I should have never thrown it away!

    • LauraOctober 9, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

      Ok so for the last three years, I had a cheap 6-7 qt Hamilton Beach Crock Pot that cost roughly $30. It was not anything fancy but it did the job. Recently I upgraded and I don’t know why I ever waited so long. I bought the below crock pot and I love love love it. The size is still the same (6 qts) but the best part is it browns meat INSIDE the crock pot. Yes! You do not need to dirty another pan if the recipe calls for browning beforehand. It also steams too. My other favorite option is that it has a timer. I work full time and sometimes I am away from my house for over 8 hours which like you mentioned can dry out or burn your food if you cook it too long. I love how I can make recipes and slow cook it for only 5 hours during the week and then it will automatically switch over till warm until I get home. Anyway, the cost is a little more, but so worth it in my opinion. Again, I kick myself for waiting so long and like you said wasted so much money ruining food because I had an old crock pot. Let me know what you decide to do.

      Here’s a link to the crockpot on Amazon.

  26. AllisonOctober 12, 2013 at 10:59 am #

    This was absolutely delicious! I made this and snacked on
    it all week!By the way, my non-paleo/vegetable-hating boyfriend
    actually ate the rice. I was so happy. Thank you for posting such
    delicious recipes :)

  27. Amy U.October 14, 2013 at 6:32 pm #

    If I have a 4.5 lb shoulder should the cooking time remain
    the same?

    • LauraOctober 17, 2013 at 6:30 am #

      Amy I would cook it for an hour less but usually you stick to the same times for recipes. Pork is so forgiving. You will know when it is done when the pork just falls off the bone. Good luck!

  28. Amanda WhitleyNovember 12, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

    I just had to drop a note. We’re new to Paleo, so I’m always looking for new recipes. I’ve had a love affair with my crock pot for years. This recipe is the best I’ve found that combines these two passions. Thank you so much for it!

  29. SusanNovember 19, 2013 at 9:23 am #

    This recipe is really good. However, there is entirely too
    much salt. I’m not one of those people who never salt my food, I
    salt to taste, but this was SO salty. I’m going to cut it in half.
    I was wondering if maybe it’s a typo and is supposed to be 2
    teaspoons of salt and not Tablespoons. I will definitely make it
    again because the spices are good.

    • LauraNovember 19, 2013 at 11:36 am #

      Susan, I’m so sorry you felt it was too salty. The measurement is correct but I am wondering if you used the same amount of pork. Did you use a 7lb pork shoulder/ butt? I know 7lbs is a lot for some and when I usually make this recipe lately I only use a 3-4lb cut so I half the ingredients. Is that what happened?

  30. Dawn Tryingcake BeckerJune 26, 2014 at 7:12 am #

    I made this yesterday. We both really loved it. I doubled up on the cumin because that’s what I always do in every recipe. Otherwise, I followed the recipe exactly. My hubby ate three full sized servings! He’s not typically an over eater and stays in shape. So I guess he really liked it.

  31. ReganAugust 28, 2014 at 5:19 pm #

    Hello! I felt compelled to comment on how fantastic this recipe is. I’ve been looking for more crockpot recipes that still allow us to “jerf”, and help with our ever busy schedule. This was so, so, good! I had a 3.5lb pork shoulder (boneless, I hadn’t realized) and I just cut all ingredients in half! The avocado tomatillo sauce was a perfect pairing. Just putting this out there for the cilantro haters of the world…I usually cut it out of any recipe that calls for it, but I halved it for this and the sauce was delicious! No time for cauliflower rice… but I roasted cauliflower and it was a great side! Thank you! This will become a regular. Gotta love a crockpot recipe that actually takes all day!!!

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