Paleo Slow Cooker Beef Carnitas

I'm the kind of football fan that has no idea what teams are playing. You know the type. Every year, as February rolls around, I think to myself, The Super Bowl must be soon, right? And then I start thinking on a daily basis about what types of snacks we should have. When the big day comes, I'm the person that is 4 times more likely to get up for snacks during playtime than during a commercial break. 

I may not be able to keep the point system straight in my head, but here's one thing I do understand: snacks that score are just as important. 

Tacos are the ultimate party food — especially for football watching - because everyone can build their own plate just to their liking. Which just makes everyone happy. Tacos tend to do that.

Slow Cooker Beef Carnitas are also the ultimate solution for parties like this because they cook ahead of time in your slow cooker, so are never rushing to get food out when everyone start to arrive.

These carnitas are slow cooked with chili powder, cumin, garlic and onions. You can add extra heat, if you like spicy food, by adding a dash or two of cayenne, or serving your tacos with hot salsa.

My “secret” (not much of a secret, as I’m publishing it here) when slow cooking taco meat is finishing it under the broiler. This gives us crispy edges, as if you braised everything in a dutch oven for hours, though really you had your slow cooker plugged in (which is just SO much easier).

Pile tacos with avocado, pico de gallo, sliced jicama, cilantro, red onion, salsa, cheese… really what ever you like.

Whichever team you cheer for this weekend... I hope you eat well! 

Paleo Slow Cooker Beef Carnitas

Published January 28, 2015 by
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Serves: 4   |    Active Time: 4 hours


  • 1 pound beef chuck roast
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 white onion, sliced 
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder 
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground paprika 
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • Pinch of ground cayenne (optional)
  • 1 cup chicken or beef broth
  • To serve: corn tortillas, salsa, cilantro, avocado, cheese, tomatoes, red onion, etc.

  • Directions:

    1. Heat coconut oil in a large pan (if your slow cooker has a sauté setting, you can use that). Place beef in Instant Pot and brown each, about 4 minutes on each side. Transfer beef to slow cooker pot if not already there.
    2. Add garlic and sliced onion, along with chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, and broth. Place lid on slow cooker, and set timer to 4 hours on high.
    3. After 4 hours, use tongs to transfer beef to a sheet pan. Use two forks to shred beef into bite-sized pieces. Turn oven to high “broil” setting and place sheet pan in oven. Allow to roast about 5 minutes, just until edges of meat begin to turn crisp (watch closely, the broiler is hot and food can burn quickly!)
    4. Serve beef warm with tacos supplies for a create-your-own taco bar!