Is there anything more comforting than a steeping hot pot filled to the brim with succulent, melt-in-your-mouth carnitas? I think not. Ok, maybe my buttery herbed dumplings in the Apple and Chicken Dumpling Soup would come in a close second right now. But I’m off of all sugar, flour, dairy, and grains for a few weeks on the Bone Broth Diet so I can skyrocket my energy and shed a few lbs. The only way I can combat any cravings (which are almost non-existent) for pasta or anything comforting is to cook healthier versions of the foods that have been expanding my waistline. Thankfully pork is still on the menu so I knew exactly what kind of Sunday meal I wanted to dive into. These slow cooker pineapple pork carnitas lettuce wraps are my new easy one pot meal that you can throw together in a few minutes, set the timer, and walk away (or leave to go play all day!).
The flavors of tropical pineapple and orange, along with oregano, cinnamon, and chipotles, infuse a pork shoulder with light and refreshing aromas that can be devoured any time of year! The best part is, if you are cooking for two-four people, you will have plenty of leftovers, even if you like to steal several bites while you’re shredding the meat.
If you’re curious, I’ve lost 4 pounds in 8 days, and I’m not even working out! I don’t sit around all day either…who could with an 18 month old?
To get the pork started, season all sides of a pork shoulder with salt, pepper, oregano, and cinnamon. Quarter one onion and lay in the bottom of the slow cooker. Add the shoulder, along with the smashed garlic, bay leaves, pineapple juice, orange juice, and chipotles with adobo sauce. Place the pineapple chunks on top of the meat, cover the slow cooker, and turn on low speed for 8 hours or high speed for 4 hours.
When the pork is done, set aside and make the coconut sauce with coconut milk, garlic, salt and pepper, and a little cilantro. Simmer for about 3 minutes to reduce and set aside.
Shred the pork with two forks and
hide half of it for yourself share with family and friends.
Spoon some of that beautiful sauce leftover from the slow cooker onto the meat for extra moist carnitas. Now, what are you waiting for, get to it!
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Bon Appetit Ya’ll,
Slow Cooker Pineapple Pork Carnitas Lettuce Wrap Tacos| Coconut Milk Cilantro Sauce
For the Carnitas
- 3-5 pound bone-in pork shoulder
- 1/2 pineapple cut into large chunks
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 2 Tbsp chipotles with 2 . adobo sauce
- 2 tsp . oregano
- 1 tsp . cinnamon
- 3 cloves garlic smashed and skins removed
- 1 onion quartered
- 2 leaves bay
- salt and pepper
For the Coconut Sauce
- 1/4 cup unsweetened full fat coconut milk
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- dash of salt and pepper
- sprinkle of fresh cilantro
- sliced avocado
Season all sides of the pork shoulder with salt, cinnamon, and oregano.
Place quartered onions at the bottom of a slow cooker. Put the pork shoulder on top of the onion.
Pour in the pineapple juice and orange juice. Throw in the chipotles with the adobo sauce, bay leaf, and 3 smashed garlic cloves. Top the pork shoulder with the pineapple slices.
Cover the slow cooker and set on low speed for 8 hours or high speed for 4 hours. 8 hours will lend the most tender meat, but 4 hours will still be succulent.
Remove the pork shoulder and let rest for at least 10 minutes. Reserve the pineapple.
While the pork is resting, combine the coconut milk, last 2 cloves of garlic, and salt and pepper. In a small saucepan over medium high heat, simmer the coconut milk mixture for about 3 minutes or until it's reduced a bit. Set aside.
With two forks, shred the pork carnitas into a bowl, adding some of the juices from the slow cooker to keep it moist.
Serve the carnitas with lettuce wraps or warm tortillas and the reserved pineapple. A squeeze of lime and cilantro leaves is optional. Top with the coconut sauce.