Pork "Carnitas" Recipe

Staff Writer
Pork "Carnitas" Recipe
Adriann Buchanan


This recipe will yield quite a bit of pork. The size of the initial piece will dictate the final yield , but I would recommend not  being overly conservative as the final product is great to have around for leftovers. 

Chef Bernie uses this pork recipe in his Enchiladas de Cerdo Guajillo recipe

Deliver Ingredients


  • 1 bone-in pork shoulder (ask your butcher to slice it into 2-inch thick slabs)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 can chipotles in adobo
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 4 bottles Mexican lager, preferably Victoria


Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Liberally season the pork with salt and pepper. In a hot cast-iron skillet, heat the oil and then sear the pork slaps on both sides until a deep golden brown color.

Combine all ingredients in a heavy Dutch oven or a covered baking dish and braise in the oven for 4 hours or until fork tender. Remove from the oven and chill completely in braising liquid (trying to keep most of the pork submerged).

Once chilled, separate the meat from the braising liquid and bring the liquid to a simmer. Strain liquid, reserve, and chill. Pick the meat into bite-size or larger chunks. Separate the rendered pork fat from the braising liquid and reserve. Reduce the braising liquid by 1/3 and reserve. In a heavy skillet, crisp up the pork chunks in the rendered pork fat.

 The 2 end products of this process are crispy, tender pork chunks and intensely flavored carnitas jus. Reserved jus can be used to enhance soups or sauces (great used in conjunction with V-8 and fresh citrus as a base for an untraditional tortilla soup with leftover carnitas, veggies, and tortilla strips). 

Pork Shopping Tip

Bone-in cuts tend to be slightly less expensive than their boneless counterparts, and have more flavor.

Pork Cooking Tip

According to the USDA, the recommended internal temperature for cooked pork should be 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pork Wine Pairing

Tempranillo, dolcetto, gewürztraminer, or muscat with roast pork; carmènere with  pork sausage; sangiovese, pinotage, or richer sauvignon blancs for stir-fried or braised pork dishes or pork in various sauces; syrah/shiraz, mourvèdre, Rhône blends, zinfandel, petite sirah, nero d'avola, or primitivo with barbecued spareribs or pulled pork, or with cochinito en pibil and other Mexican-spiced pork dishes.