Pork Carnitas

by Lori on April 3, 2015

If you have been around here a while, you know my favorite food is Mexican.

Anything. I love it all. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 365 days a year.

I am always looking to recreate something I have had outside them home right in my own kitchen.

Enter. Pork Carnitas.

Pork Carnitas

Holy Yum.


My family devoured this! Meaning I need to double the recipe so I will actually have some leftovers the next day!

Pork Carnitas
  • 4 pounds boneless pork butt, trimmed of fat and cut into 2″ cubes
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 TB fresh lime juice
  • 1 whole onion, peeled and halved
  • 1 whole orange, juiced- Keep the Halves
  • 2 Cups water
  1. Preheat Oven to 300 degrees with oven rack set in the middle.
  2. Combine all ingredients into a dutch oven(cast iron pot with lid will work). Include the orange halves you saved.
  3. Bring pot to a simmer uncovered, over medium low heat.
  4. Once the pot begins to simmer, cover and move to the oven.
  5. Cook in the oven until the meat falls apart easily with a fork, about 2 hours.
  6. Remove pot from oven and turn on your broiler.
  7. Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat and place on a large jelly roll pan that is lined with foil.
  8. Remove everything from the pot except the cooking liquid which should be around 1 cup.
  9. Place the pot with the cooking liquid on the stove over high heat to reduce.
  10. While it is reducing use a form to pull the meat into smaller pieces.
  11. Once your liquid has become thick like a syrup, add the meat back in and stir. Try not to break up the meat any further. Be gentle.
  12. Spread the meat onto the jelly roll pan in a single layer.
  13. Put under your broiler until the meat is well browned, 5-8 minutes.
  14. Flip the meat with a spatula and repeat, browning under the broiler until well browned.
  15. Serve with warm corn tortillas, cilantro, pico, or other favorite toppings.


Add this one to your next Tex-Mex Night! I promise it will not disappoint!

Enjoy with Guacamole or Mango Salsa for a twist!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael January 10, 2016 at 2:23 pm

Great recipe!!!


Clyde Kluge March 18, 2018 at 12:06 pm

I look forward to trying this recipe. I love carnitas and look for them on the menu of all the mexican restaurants that I eat in.

The first carnitas I ever had was in a small mexican restaurant in Pico Rivera, CA. What I remember most about them was the unique flavor and the crusty exterior if the pork. I have tried several recipes in the past but have not quite found the right one.

Based on the ingredients, cooking method and the resulting pictures, this one look like it could be a winner!!!!



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