Slice the roast into 2″ steaks, going across the grain. Leave all of the fat in place on the roast.
Prepare the spice blend in a large bowl–large enough to easily toss the pork steaks. In fact, let’s do that now. Once the spices are brought together, add the steaks a couple at a time and coat evenly in the spices. At first sight, it doesn’t look like it’ll be enough seasoning to coat, but it will. Let rest while a skillet comes to temp.
Heat a skillet or large thick-bottomed pan to medium-high. Add your fat of choice.
Work in batches to ensure a quick and quality sear. Add 2-3 steaks, depending on the size of your pan and sear both sides.
Move the browned pork to the slow cooker to rest. Repeat until the pork is done.
When the last batch of meat is searing, bring together the stock, tomato paste, mole and crushed garlic cloves. Use this to deglaze the pan once the final round of pork is removed.
Let this seasoned broth simmer for a few minutes in the skillet, bringing up all the leftover bits from the pan, but also warming up the spices and garlic before it joins the pork.
While the broth simmers, juice two navel oranges and one lime and set aside.
After a couple minutes of simmering, pour the broth over the seared pork in the slow cooker. Add the citrus juices as well.
Cover and set the timer for 5 hours on low.
If your slow cooker turns off after the timer dings, this is fine to hang out and keep warm for a little bit. If your cooker goes to a “keep warm” setting like mine does, the meat will not hold long. Ironically though the pork is full of fat and sitting in broth, it is possible to dry out if it stays at that “keep warm” temperature after it’s been cooking for 5 hours.
Here’s my advice for handling the pork at this stage. I like to make enough to cover a couple of meals. When it comes to the portions I need for later meals, I find that storing the meat whole at this stage is better than storing fully prepared carnitas. So for right now, let’s figure out what we need for tonight’s dinner and set the rest aside for another meal. Also, don’t toss the juice! We need the broth for rehydrating the meat. That stuff is flavor gold!
Onto making the carnitas… Shred the meat using forks or even the handy trick of using a pastry cutter (we don’t need those anymore, right?). That’s step one. Step two is caramelizing the newly shredded meat in order to get those perfect browned edges we have come to love about carnitas. This can happen two ways. Either put the shredded meat back into that skillet with some fat and brown or put the meat under a broiler for a few minutes… whatever works for you.