3 hours 45 min

    Carnitas can be a little dry or flavourless. This carnitas recipe, however, has a great, distinctive flavour and is requested by friends and family over and over. Serve with warm tortillas and salsa.

    4 people made this

    Serves: 12 

    • 60ml vegetable oil
    • 1.8kg boneless pork shoulder, cut into several large pieces
    • 3 tablespoons coarse salt
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 1 clove garlic, crushed
    • 3 tablespoons lime juice
    • 1 tablespoon chilli powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1.75L chicken stock

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:3hr30min  ›  Ready in:3hr45min 

    1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large casserole over high heat. Season the pork shoulder with salt, then arrange the pork in the casserole. Cook until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, lime juice, chilli powder, oregano and cumin. Pour in the chicken stock, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and continue to simmer until pork is very tender, about 2 1/2 hours.
    2. Preheat an oven to 200 C / Gas 6.
    3. Transfer the pork shoulder to a large baking tray, reserving the cooking liquid. Drizzle with a small amount of the reserved cooking liquid and lightly season with salt to taste.
    4. Bake the pork in the preheated oven until browned, about 30 minutes. Drizzle more of the cooking liquid on the meat every 10 minutes, and use two forks to shred the meat as it browns.

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    Reviews in English (281)


    This is the more traditional carnitas on this site. All we do is cook the pork, steam the corn tortillas and top with pico de gallo and lime juice (op). Yes, use shoulder or butt. We don't use spices to cook the pork because we love the flavor of just the pork on its own. I pressure cook mine but a dutch oven is great too. Crisp the shredded pork under a broiler or in a dry fry pan. This will add to the flavor. We are a Mexican family and this is our traditional way.  -  02 Nov 2017


    Hi all, Keep in mind, the objective of the final step is to get slightly crispy outside with a moist, tender inside. Convection oven is great for this. The recipe says a "clove" of garlic ... I meant a bulb, but of course, garlic to taste, and for that matter, salt. Also remember to adjust your salt and spices to the size of the roast, but broth doesn't need the same levels of increases. If you're not a salty person, salt the roast as you normally would. If you feel like you're over-salting, then you probably are. Also, make sure you're using Kosher style salt. Written a long time ago -- I don't use cans of broth anymore, just the sealed boxes -- about 1 will do for most roasts. I have also used pork loin, and it tends to dry out. If you use a loin, try to buy one with more fat than you normally would. Shoulder/butt is much better. I also often put the pot in the oven at about 300-325 degrees, depending on how fast you need it to cook. Also, this was the Winter version with a dutch oven. I have a summer version where I marinate the pork pieces in lime, garlic, olive oil, adobo chili sauce, cilantro, and onion. I then grill outdoors to get the browned edges, and then set up a disposable aluminum pan covered with foil to do the braising in broth. I keep it on the grill on very low heat until tender. Then move the pieces indoors to finish with the same steps as the winter version. Some great ideas in your comments including crock pot use, & cola /beer for braise  -  12 Sep 2012  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    i havent tried the recipe but if anyone out there wants to make a variation to this recipe, i recently saw a Mexican friend making carnitas (a whole pig) and what he put in for seasoning was coca cola, limes and lemons, laurel leaves, and cooking wine. dont forget the salt and use its own drippings to keep it from being dried out, remember, carnitas werent meant to be diet food.  -  09 Oct 2011  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)