Carnitas with pico de gallo

    18 hours 20 min

    This carnitas recipe makes a lot of food. My neighbours, colleagues, family and friends love it. A must for social occasions. Serve like a burrito with warmed corn tortillas, grated cheese, soured cream and fresh chopped coriander.

    21 people made this

    Serves: 10 

    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 2.75kg boneless pork shoulder
    • 100g ground cumin
    • 4 dried chillies, seeded and cut into 1cm pieces
    • 1 onion, quartered
    • 6 cloves garlic, halved
    • 1 jalapeno chilli, seeded and minced
    • 1.4L water
    • Pico de gallo
    • 6 tomatoes, chopped
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 2 tomatillos (husk tomatoes), husked and chopped
    • 2 jalapeno chilli, seeded and minced
    • 75ml lime juice
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:18hr  ›  Ready in:18hr20min 

    1. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Sear the pork in the hot oil until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Place into a slow cooker along with the cumin, chillies, quartered onion, garlic and 1 minced jalapeno. Pour in the water, cover, and cook on High for 6 to 8 hours, then reduce heat to Low and cook until the pork is tender and easily shredded, 12 to 16 hours more. Once cooked, remove the pork and vegetables to a large bowl and shred finely with two forks. Mix in enough cooking liquid to moisten the meat to your taste.
    2. Prepare the pico de gallo 2 to 6 hours before the carnitas will be ready. Combine the tomatoes, onion, tomatillos and 2 minced jalapeno chillies in a mixing bowl. Season with lime juice, salt and pepper. Mix well, and refrigerate until ready to serve.


    Use fresh green chillies if fresh jalapenos are not available. Also, for the dried chillies, use New Mexico chillies if possible, available in some specialty shops and online via

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    Reviews in English (12)


    In our Mexican family we only cook and crisp the pork and make tacos in corn tortillas and top with pico de gallo. I don't know any Mexicans who do it differently than we do. the above recipe may be good but it is not traditional in our culture.  -  02 Nov 2017


    This recipe was super easy to put together. I was a little scared by a whole cup of cumin but it worked out fine. Suprisingly, even with the peppers, the meat wasn't spicy enough for us. I think I would increase the jalepenos next time or maybe add some cayenne pepper. I followed the recipe except for I had to add salt to the meat mixture. I couldn't imagine cooking meat without it. I added about a tablespoon of salt and some black pepper. I started my meat out frozen. I accidentally cooked on high 3 hours longer than I was supposed to when I fell asleep! I cut back on the low temp. time by 3 hours due to this mistake. The meat was very tender. For us,the taste was a 3 and ease was a 4. If you don't like things too spicy it should be perfect as is. Thanks for sharing it.  -  20 Aug 2008  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    Great recipe. I also changed cooking time but I did it on purpose. I did 8 hours on high then 3 more on low. I also cut the meat into smaller pcs. It is plenty of time to make it tender and my husband didn't have to wait as long to eat. Just keep the lid closed. Great taste though.  -  19 Mar 2009  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)