Paleo Party Pork Carnitas

"© 2014 Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All rights reserved. Carnitas are the perfect self-serve party food. Although the dish is normally cooked with milk and served in tortillas topped with sour cream and cheese, this paleo version substitutes with almond milk and lettuce wraps and is garnished with avocado slices, red onion and fresh cilantro. Best of all, a slow cooker allows you to set it up before work and come back to a ready-made dinner party. Guests will love this make-your-own dish."
photo by Turner Broadcasting photo by Turner Broadcasting
photo by Turner Broadcasting
Ready In:
8hrs 30mins


  • 1 (4 lb) tied boneless skinless pork shoulder
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 12 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 12 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 12 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 3 small carrots, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 3 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 1 lemon, peeled with vegetable peeler in 2- to 3-inch strips
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 avocados, cut in 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 heads boston lettuce, washed, dried and leaves separated
  • 2 limes, cut into eighths
  • 12 bunch cilantro
  • 14 red onion, thinly sliced into half moons


  • Generously sprinkle the pork shoulder with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in large nonstick skillet set over high heat. Sear the meat on all sides until deeply browned, about 3 minutes per side.
  • Transfer the pork to a slow cooker. Add the almond milk, broth, oregano, garlic, carrots, celery, bay leaves, lemon peel and onions. Set the slow cooker to low, then cover and cook until the meat can be easily pulled apart with a fork, 6 to 8 hours.
  • Transfer the pork to a work surface and use two forks to shred the meat. Strain the cooking liquid and reserve. Transfer the pork to a serving platter, then ladle the cooking liquid over the meat and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Place the avocado slices, lettuce leaves, half of the lime wedges, the cilantro sprigs and red onion slices on a platter. Squeeze the remaining lime wedge over the avocados to prevent discoloration. Have guests build their own carnitas lettuce wraps.

Questions & Replies

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  1. What is the purpose of the "Almond Milk?" OK to substitute with regular "milk-mlk?"


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