Carnitas (adapted from Chaos in the Kitchen)

See notes before starting this dish.

  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder (butt) roast, cut into cubes
  • 3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 7 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of chicken or beef stock
  • 1 Mexican beer (optional)

In a slowcooker combine all ingredients and stir.    Arrange the pork so it sits as a single layer at the bottom of the pot.  Set slow cooker to high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.

Once the pork is done, it should be tender enough that you can shred it with a spoon.  Heat a stainless steel or aluminum pan with 2 Tbs of olive oil.  Using a slotted spoon transfer the pork from the pot to the pan in batches.  Fry the pork until brown and crispy, breaking it up as you fry it.   Do not crowd the pan with pork for best results.  

If you like you can deglaze the pan with about 3 tbs of beer per batch and cook till evaporated.

Serve on tortillas garnished with chopped onions, avocado, fresh cilantro and lime wedge.


*Notes:  I did not brown the pork before putting it into the slowcooker and I think I should have.   I suggest seasoning the pork with the cumin and salt and browning it before putting it into the slowcooker. However I have not tired it which is why I did not add this to the actual recipe.

If you don't have a slow cooker you can do it stove top by combining all ingredients in a dutch oven or large heavy pot.  Arrange the pork so it sits as a single layer at the bottom of the pot.  Bring mixture to a boil and cover loosely.  Allow meat to simmer until tender and liquid is evaporated, about 3 - 4 hours.  If liquid evaporates and the pork in not yet fork tender, add more liquid and continue to simmer.  Spoon pork with rendered fat into hot pan and continue recipe.

If you choose the slowcooker method you will have some juices in the pot when the pork is done.  Strain this juice and reserve for Posole that you can make with leftovers. Posole recipe to come soon.
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