• Carnitas

    14 votes
    Prep: 15 min Cook: 165 min Servings: 4
    by Sergio Hernandez
    12 recipes
    Carnitas are the Mexican version of pulled pork. Braised first in a spicy sauce, pork shoulder is slow cooked until so tender the meat just shreds easily with a fork, then it's roasted at high heat to make crispy browned bits full of flavor.


    • 3 pounds of pork butt
    • 1 cup of orange juice
    • 1 cup pineapple juice
    • 2 cups of water
    • 2 teaspoons of salt
    • 2 bay leaves
    • dash of low sodium or salt free soy sauce


    1. Cut pork into strips (three inches by one inch), place into stewpot or dutch oven and add orange and pineapple juice, water, soy sauce, salt, bay leaves and bring to a boil and then simmer uncovered on low for 2 hours. Do not touch the meat.
    2. After two hours, turn heat up to medium high, and continue to cook until all the liquid has evaporated and the pork fat has rendered (about 45 minutes). Stir a few times, to keep pork from sticking to bottom of pan.
    3. When pork has browned on both sides, it’s ready (there will be liquid fat in the pan). Serve either cubed or shredded (pork will be tender enough that just touching it will cause it to fall apart).
    4. Goes very well with a green salsas such as Ninfa's green sauce or this tomatillo salsa or this salsa verde with avocados and tomatillos.

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    • John Spottiswood
      John Spottiswood
      I've made carnitas before with recipes that had me barbeque them. This boiling and then browning method is MUCH better. The carnitas are juicy and very flavorful. I didn't think this would have enough flavor with just salt and orange juice, but the carnitas were delicious! Just serve with some spicy salsa or hot sauce for those who want a little more kick. We served with Sergio's Arroz Congri recipe. Great combination!
      • Susan
        This recipe was simple, very tasty, tender and perfect for
        children and adults!
        • Nancy Miyasaki
          Nancy Miyasaki
          When I first saw this recipe I thought it was too good to be true. So few ingredients and such simple instructions. But it came out very tender and tasty. I've heard other carnitas recipes use lard or other fatty ingredients in the cooking, and this one didn't. So it's a winner that is simple, tasty, and relatively healthy.
          • purpleone
            sounds good & easy. I love Ninfa's green sauce too!
            • Arturo Féliz-Camilo
              Arturo Féliz-Camilo
              This is specially nice in a baguette! (As a sandwich)
              • Sherri Rochester
                Sherri Rochester
                this looks yummy!


                • Kyra Martin
                  Kyra Martin
                  We featured your recipe on Facebook! Thanks for making such delicious food. I love carnitas!
                  ~Kyra, Community Manager
                  • ShaleeDP
                    Haven't done this but I could give this a try....

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