To be honest with you, I’m not really a big fan of pork. And by that I mean that the only form of pork I really enjoy is bacon. That was until I discovered a sneaky little cut of pork known as tenderloin. Pork tenderloin is generally a cheaper cut of pork than chops or ribs, as it is tougher.
As you can see from the diagram above (courtesy of About Food) the loin is a large cut of meat that forms the pig’s back, and the tenderloin is towards the rear of the loin. The tenderloin comes from an area that is usually worked quite part, and is therefore quite lean which is why it is tougher than other cuts of pork. However, if you leave it in a slow cooker and cook on low for several hours, you will end up with the most succulent yet tender piece of meat you have ever tasted in your life.
Shredded pork tenderloin has many uses besides carnitas, you can stick it in wraps, pizzas, you can even top your fries with it! I would advise you to make this on a Sunday night, then use the leftover shredded pork as you wish throughout the week. Meal prep on fleekThe really nice thing about carnitas is that they’re easily customised so you can make it your own. I topped mine with red onion, pineapple, parsley, lime wedges and sour cream.
Slow Cooker BBQ Pork Carnitas
1 bone in pork tenderloin, between 1 and 3 pounds
1 cup water
1 ½ cups BBQ sauce
4-5 pieces of tortilla bread
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp dried mustard
2 tsp brown sugar
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup pineapple, diced into ½ cubes
A handful of chopped parsley
2 limes, cut into wedges
¼ cup chopped red onion
Sour cream, I like this recipe
- On a chopping board, trim any excess fat from the tenderloin. Place the pork in a large cast iron pot. Combine the ingredients for the pork rub together in a small bowl and massage the rub into the pork with your hands, making sure that you cover the entire tenderloin. Pour the water into the cast iron pot, taking care not to pour it right over the pork, or you’ll wash the spices off. Cover and cook on low heat for 4 hours. Pork is done when it easily comes away from the bone.
- Remove the pork to a large baking dish and let cool. Once cooled, use 2 forks to shred the pork until the pieces are of a size to your liking. Mix in the barbecue sauce and toss until combined.
- Place a tortilla on a plate. Cover the tortilla with the pulled pork, leaving a border that’s about ½ inch wide. Top with red onion, pineapple, lime wedges, parsley and finally sour cream. Serve and enjoy!