Recipe: Perfect Pork Carnitas

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Pork Carnitas. Many find carnitas a little dry or flavorless. These have a great, distinctive flavor and are requested by friends and family over and over. Serve with warm, fresh tortillas and salsa.

This Mexican pulled pork is the perfect filling for tacos, burritos or nachos. Pork carnitas, a Mexican-style slow cooked pulled pork, are probably my absolute favorite street food. And they're so simple to make at home! You can cook Pork Carnitas using 12 ingredients and 8 steps. Here is how you cook that.

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Ingredients of Pork Carnitas

  1. You need 2 pounds of trimmed pork butt into 1 inch thick slices it is about 4-5 large slices (all slices should be even).
  2. You need 2 teaspoons of salt.
  3. You need 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.
  4. It’s 3 tablespoons of sugar.
  5. You need 11/2 teaspoons of dried oregano.
  6. It’s 11/2 teaspoons of ground cumin.
  7. It’s 1 of large white onion, cut into wedges.
  8. Prepare 1 head of garlic, smashed peeled and roughly chopped.
  9. It’s 2 of limes, juiced.
  10. Prepare 1 cup of orange juice.
  11. You need 1 cup of chicken stock.
  12. It’s 1 of bay leaves.

This recipe can be done in a slow cooker or Instapot along with a taco bar for easy entertaining. Place the pork in a slow cooker and top with the onion, garlic, and jalapeno. Squeeze over the juice of the orange and add the two halves. Serve as tacos or burrito bowls.

Pork Carnitas step by step

  1. Mix the dry seasoning together then coat the 1 inch thick slices of pork..
  2. Mix together the lime juice, orange juice, chicken stock and pour over the pork. Let sit for 20 minutes..
  3. In a baking pan or Dutch oven add the onion, garlic and bay leaf, on the bottom and place the pork and pour liquid over on top..
  4. Cover and cook in a 350 degree oven for 2 hours or (until the meat falls apart)..
  5. Remove pork and shred with two forks (DO NOT DISCARD THE LIQUID!).
  6. Strain and save the liquid. (Note the onions and the garlic did taste good and you may want to eat them??).
  7. TO CRISP ON STOVE: Heat about 1 tablespoon of oil in a nonstick pan or cast iron skillet over high heat. When pan is hot, add pork and sear until just beginning to crisp. Pour over about 1/2 cup of left over liquid, and continue cooking until the juices begin to reduce down and the meat is nice and crispy..
  8. TO SERVE: 1. Season with a little extra salt and pepper if desired. Pour over more of the juices once the meat has crisped for added flavor, just before serving! Serve in Tacos, Burritos, or in a salad!.

This pork is cooked to perfection. It is tender on the inside and crispy on the outside for an amazing dinner idea. The house smelled amazing from the pork carnitas slow cooking all day. We love to serve it on tortillas and the entire family goes crazy over these tacos. Carnitas are braised in the oven or slow cooker and Al Pastor is cooked on a rotisserie usually after soaking in a marinade.

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