Carnitas.  The best way to prepare this perfect style of pork is right here.  I worship carnitas.  I always have and always will.  Carnitas means “little meats” but there is nothing little about the flavor.  I use the pork shoulder which has a nice amount of marbled fat in it.  The fat is part of the secret…. it flavors the pork in the roasting portion of this recipe.  Mmmm.  I used my new Martha Stewart Cast Iron Dutch Oven to complete this heavenly delight and I only have high regards for the results. Carnitas may seem like an elaborate dish to pull off but all you need is a little bit of love and some patience.  The outcome is worth the time it took to slow cook this tender, moist, succulent crunchy meal.

Ingredients for carnitas:

5 – lbs of pork shoulder

meat seasoning (1 teaspoon of each: salt, paprika, garlic powder, cumin, and pepper)

1/4 – cup vegetable oil

1/2 – onion

9 – garlic cloves

1 – dried pasilla chile

1 – tablespoon oregano

1 – teaspoon salt

2 – cans coca-cola

1 – cup whole milk

4 – cups chicken broth

extra salt to taste for roasting

Cut pork shoulder into 3 inch chunks. Remove some of the extra fat on the outside.

Then season meat generously with meat seasoning. Set to the side.

In a 8 quart dutch oven over a medium flame add vegetable oil and allow to heat for 3 minutes. Then take a portion of the meat and fry on each side just to brown 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from dutch oven and set browned meat to the side. Repeat till all meat is browned.


Once all meat is browned add it all back into dutch oven and add in onion, garlic cloves, pasilla chile, oregano, salt, and coca-cola.

Next add in the milk.

and last add in chicken broth.

Bring the flame up to high and bring to a boil. Once broth is boiling cover with a lid and lower flame to low. Simmer for 3 hours.

After 3 hours the meat will have shrunk and there will be a little fat at the top of ther mixture. Mine looks like this.

Preheat your oven for 450 degrees fahrenheit.

Line a baking sheet with a aluminum foil or a baking mat and remove all pieces of pork with a slotted spoon from liquid. Allow pork to sit on baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes. Then break up the pieces of meat with a fork or your hands. The meat will be extremely tender and practically fall apart on it’s own.

Stick it in the oven for 10 minutes and it will get slightly crunchy on top. The fat in the meat will melt and it will fry in it’s own fat. Remove from oven and place in a bowl or on a platter.

Squeeze lime over top and eat in tacos, burritos, tamales or tortas. Carnitas are simply the best.

 Photos by: Mando Lopez and Nicole Presley



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