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Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin Guisada

Servings: 6 to 8

Carne guisada is a warming Mexican stew of chunks of meat (often beef, but here it’s ubiquitous pork tenderloin) simmered in  a spicy tomato-based sauce. It’s perfect for adapting to a slow-cooker to make it weeknight-friendly and mostly hands-off. If you prefer, you can substitute pork butt or shoulder (see tip, below).


  • 1 lb. unpeeled Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 medium sweet onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 large jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped, about 2 Tbs.
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced (about 1-1/2 Tbs.)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 to 2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1-1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 bottle brown ale, such as Newcastle
  • 3 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2-1/2 to 3 lb. pork tenderloin, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • Corn or flour tortillas, for serving
  • Shredded romaine lettuce, julienned radishes, cilantro, sour cream and lime wedges, for serving (optional)


  • Place the potatoes, onions, jalapeño, garlic and bay leaf in a 5-quart slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine the flour, chili powder, red pepper flakes, cumin, paprika, and 1/2 tsp. salt and and toss it with the vegetables. In a medium bowl, combine the ale, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and vinegar and pour it over the vegetables. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours.
  • Reduce the heat to low, add the pork, stir to combine, and continue to cook for another 3 hours, until the meat is tender.
  • Remove the pork from the slow cooker and cool slightly. Remove and discard the bay leaf, shred the pork, and then return it to the slow cooker, allowing it to heat through.
  • Season to taste and serve on the tortillas with the lettuce, radishes, cilantro, sour cream, and lime wedges.


To substitute pork butt or shoulder, add it in large chunks along with the potatoes and onions. Cook everything on low for 8 hours, then shred the meat and stir it back into the sauce.


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Reviews (3 reviews)

  • Stasia | 10/23/2018

    Found this to be lacking in fat. I was excited to find a slow cooker recipe for pork tenderloin, but ultimately I expect pork butt or shoulder would result in something closer to 5 stars. Contrary to Chef Dave's advice, I definitely would NOT use a pork loin. The recipe calls for 2 1/2 to 3 lbs. pork tenderloin cut in chunks, which just means you need to use more than one tenderloin. I easily found 2 - 1 1/2 lb. tenderloins that were both thick enough to cut in 2" chunks. Was concerned about the mixture being too spicy so cut back a bit on the jalapeno and only used 1/2 tsp. of crushed red pepper. Wish I hadn't held back, the end result needed more spice. Salt also lacking for that matter, next time I will season the pork with an additional 1/2 tsp. kosher salt. In answer a previous reviewer's question, I was surprised how well the potatoes held up, after the 5 hour cooking period, they were just tender. Served this with sour cream and sliced avocado which helped add a richness, which this lean dish needed. We liked the pork better the 2nd day tucked in corn tortillas (with lots of cheese) in an enchilada casserole with a brown chile sauce. My favorite go-to, ridiculously easy and tasty sauce recipe can be found here -- https://cookieandkate.com/2016/enchilada-sauce-recipe/ .

  • user-6315957 | 10/11/2018

    I am preparing to try this but was wondering about the diced potatoes cooked for 5 hours. Do they hold up or disintegrate.. or is the intent that they disappear into the sauce?

  • User avater
    Chef_Dave_in_OR | 10/10/2018

    I believe this another recipe that really uses pork loin instead of the mentioned pork tenderloin. Pork tenderloins run 1 to 1 1/4# and are about 1 1/2” thick. A center cut pork loin on the 2” chunks.

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