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Crockpot Ancho Pork Bowl is a no-fuss, yet delicious dinner. It makes great leftovers that can be used for meal prep.

crockpot ancho pork paleo primal whole30 recipe easy

Crockpot might just be my new favourite word. Until a few weeks ago we didn’t even own a slowcooker. Turns out we’ve been missing out – big time! This Ancho Pork shoulder is actually the first meal I cooked in it & wow! Total game changer! I was really hesitant about cooking with a crockpot until I saw several recipes by Rick Bayless that were made in his slow-cooker, which is not actually a Crockpot. He’s got fancy ones that can be placed directly on the stovetop so that you can brown the meat before slowly cooking it to fall-off-the-bone perfection. It made me kind of jealous, not gonna lie. I decided to bite the bullet and get my hands on a slow-cooker of my own. If it’s good enough for Rick, it’s good enough for me!

I didn’t fork over the $250+change for the fancy model he uses because I wasn’t sure I would like cooking with it. Instead, I found this one on Amazon for about $40 made by Crockpot. It has good reviews. It’s large enough to cook full shoulders, briskets, and other roasts. This crockpot has a digital display so that I know exactly how long it’s cooking for. And, to be honest, it’s not an eyesore. It may not have any bells and whistles but you don’t need those anyways. This device is not something you play with. You wanna ‘set it and forget it’. I’ve used it a few times now and can’t complain. If it breaks, which I highly doubt it will, I haven’t broken the bank. It also has side latches which will come in handy when I have to lug it to my brother’s house for family dinners.

Alternatively, you might consider getting this Instant Pot, which I have not used but have heard amazing things about. In fact, I think I may reach out to them to see if they’re willing to do a giveaway for Primal Gourmet readers. I have to admit, I’m curious to see how it works myself. My suspicion is that it is worth the money. Apparently it cuts the cooking time down by half because of the immense pressure trapped in the cooking vessel. However, I am hesitant about the small diameter of the pot. I think I will have a hard time slow-cooking things like pork or beef shoulders with large, oddly-shaped bones. Or, maybe I’m wrong. Do you use an Instant Pot? I’d love to hear what you think!

crockpot whole30 ancho pork paleo primal recipe easy

The real reason I purchased a crockpot was because so many people have asked me for recipes that use them. Apparently I’m the only person who has the time to cook with an oven anymore! I totally get it though, people are super busy these days and want easy, delicious food. The good news is this recipe won’t let you down if you’re short on time and energy but want a tasty meal after a long day’s work.


2-3lbs bone-in pork shoulder roast
2 dried, whole ancho chilies – deseeded, stems removed
1 medium onion – diced
5-6 cloves garlic – minced
5-6 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
500ml chicken stock
salt & pepper
cauliflower rice – use your favorite recipe or watch my YouTube video for an idea
romaine lettuce – roughly chopped
purple cabbage – shredded
red radish – cut into matchsticks
Whole30 compliant salsa – homemade pico de gallo works
ripe avocado – sliced or diced
fresh lime – garnish
cilantro – garnish


  1. To a high power blender, add ancho chili, cinnamon, smoked paprika, apple cider vinegar, & chicken stock. Blend on high speed until completely smooth.
  2.  Pat pork shoulder dry with kitchen towel & season all sides with salt & pepper – transfer to slow cooker along with the onions & garlic. Pour in the chili-stock mixture & give everything a bit of a mix in the pot so that the ingredients are evenly distributed. Submerge the sprigs of fresh thyme.
  3.  Close the lid & cook on high for 5-7 hours or until meat is falling of the bone.
  4.  Carefully transfer pork to a bowl or large platter & let cool until you can shred it using your hands – set aside.
  5. Strain the sauce and pour it into a stockpot. Heat over medium heat until the sauce reduces by half. Taste for seasoning and adjust salt and pepper accordingly. Pour the reduction over the shredded pork and toss to coat.
  6.  Serve Ancho Pork overtop a bowl of cauliflower rice, lettuce & shredded cabbage. Garnish with salsa of choice, radish, avocado, fresh cilantro & lime wedges

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  1. Sounds delicious! Did I miss what to do with the reduced sauce? I’m assuming it’s for pouring over the food once plated though.
    Can’t wait to try this.

    1. Thank you for pointing that out! I like to toss the shredded pork in the reduced sauce. I’ve edited the instructions to include that step! Let me know how it goes!

  2. This look ah-mazing. I don’t own a crock pot (yet?) but wondering if there were instructions to do this with a dutch oven?

    1. If using a Dutch Oven, same basic rules apply. For added flavour, try browning the pork shoulder first (remove from pot and set aside), then do a quick sauté of the onions and garlic before deglazing with the chili mixture and returning the pork back to the pot. Add the thyme, cover with a lid and transfer to a 350F oven for 3-4 hours or until you can shred it with a fork.

  3. Can this recipe be modified for pork loin roast? I was recently dining at a Tapas restaurant and had a wonderful pork salad and this recipe sounds very much like the seasoning. So I’d like to give it a try, but had already purchased a pork loin roast.

    1. A loin roast is too lean for a braise like this. I would go with something a bit fattier so that it doesn’t dry out during the cooking process.

  4. Is this really supposed to be on high, potentially for 7 hours? I’ve just never seen a recipe that cooks for that long on high… Typically I’ve seen 4 hrs on high or 7-8 hrs on low.

    Looks delicious, I’m planning on making this tomorrow and using it to make loaded sweet potato fries!

    1. If using a bone-in pork shoulder, you may expect longer cooking times. It really depends on the cut and how thick it is. Something that is thinner but weighs the same, will take less time because of the larger surface area. The 5-7hrs is how long it took me when testing. But I also mention you should cook it until the meat is fall-apart tender, which may only take 4 hours. Hope that helps!

  5. I LOVE this recipe and am wondering how to adapt for the Instant Pot. I got one for Christmas and can’t wait to try this recipe in it. Do you have any advice for using this recipe in the Instant Pot?

  6. I made this yesterday.
    My lady got a 9 pound shoulder on sale…I cut it in half (froze the other half ), doubled the recipe, and dove in.
    Aside from the avocado, what you see on the photo on the site is exactly what we had. I used McCormicks ancho chili powder, substituted 1 tsp per ancho chili called for.
    I made cilantro lime cauliflower rice, and whole30 pico.
    Didn’t know how it would come out with cinnamon, but the each ingredient enhanced the other.
    At first I was flabbergasted with how much pork shoulder she bought. Now I’m grateful.
    WONDERFUL recipe!

    1. Probably because that’s what was available at the butcher that day. But as far as I know, a butt roast comes from the shoulder, it’s just a bit higher up on the leg.