Crispy Carnitas from Closet Cooking

A healthier version of carnitas, a braised Mexican pulled pork that is broiled until crispy on the outside but is still moist and tender on the inside and just packed with flavour!


Servings: 4-6

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 (3-4 lb) pork butt or shoulder, fat trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 cups water (or beer)
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Directions
  1. Season the pork with the salt.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat, add the pork, sear on all sides and set aside. (optional)
  3. Add 1 cup water and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. (optional)
  4. Add everything to the pan, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, until the pork is falling apart tender, about 2-3 hours. OR Add everything to the pan, bring to a boil, transfer to a preheated 300F oven and bake, covered, until the pork is falling apart tender, about 2 hours. OR Place everything in a slow cooker and cook until the pork is falling apart tender, about 4-5 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
  5. Remove the pork from the liquid, set aside to cool and shred removing any fat.
  6. Meanwhile, skim any fat from the liquid and simmer to reduce to 1 cup.
  7. Mix the liquid into the pork, spread it out in a single layer on baking sheet, broil until crispy on top, about 4-6 minutes, flip and broil until crispy, about 4-6 minutes.
  8. Enjoy on by itself or in tacos, burritos, quesadillas, etc.

Option: If you want to skip browning the meat, you can, but this adds a lot of flavour. If you are using the slow cooker and do not want to brown the meat in the morning you can brown it the night before and keep the meat and the water with the scraped brown bits in the fridge overnight.
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