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.

Nette
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Ingredients

12
Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Season the pork shoulder with salt, then arrange the pork in the Dutch oven. Cook until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, lime juice, chili powder, oregano, and cumin. Pour in the chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and continue to simmer until pork is very tender, about 2 1/2 hours.

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  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

  • Transfer the pork shoulder to a large baking sheet, reserving the cooking liquid. Drizzle with a small amount of the reserved cooking liquid and lightly season with salt.

  • 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.

Tips

Cook's Note

Serve the carnitas with warm, fresh tortillas and salsa.

Nutrition Facts

249.8 calories; protein 16.2g 32% DV; carbohydrates 2.3g 1% DV; fat 19.1g 29% DV; cholesterol 62.5mg 21% DV; sodium 2072.3mg 83% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (399)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
03/16/2019
Hi all, Keep in mind, the objective of the final step is to get slightly crispy outside with a moist, tender inside. The recipe says a "clove" of garlic ... I meant a bulb, but of course, garlic to taste, and for that matter, salt. 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. If reg. salt, use less. The level of fat on your roast also plays a role - more fat, less salt. Written a long time ago -- I don't use cans of broth, just the sealed boxes -- about 1 will do. I have also used pork loin, and it tends to dry out-- try to buy one with more fat than you normally would. Shoulder/butt is much better. I often put the dutch oven in the oven at about 300-325 degrees, depending on how fast you need it to cook. 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 here - crock pot/ coke/beer. It's not an exact science. It's just a cooking technique. Read More
(412)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
09/08/2013
Texture was perfect, but meat was waaaaay too salty. Salt overpowered the cumin and chili powder. 1 Tablespoon would have been plenty. Easy fix for an otherwise good recipe. Read More
(33)
518 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 464
  • 4 star values: 42
  • 3 star values: 7
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 3
Rating: 5 stars
03/16/2019
Hi all, Keep in mind, the objective of the final step is to get slightly crispy outside with a moist, tender inside. The recipe says a "clove" of garlic ... I meant a bulb, but of course, garlic to taste, and for that matter, salt. 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. If reg. salt, use less. The level of fat on your roast also plays a role - more fat, less salt. Written a long time ago -- I don't use cans of broth, just the sealed boxes -- about 1 will do. I have also used pork loin, and it tends to dry out-- try to buy one with more fat than you normally would. Shoulder/butt is much better. I often put the dutch oven in the oven at about 300-325 degrees, depending on how fast you need it to cook. 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 here - crock pot/ coke/beer. It's not an exact science. It's just a cooking technique. Read More
(412)
Rating: 4 stars
10/09/2011
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. Read More
(146)
Rating: 5 stars
03/20/2012
I'm very happy with how our carnitas turned out! I used a tenderloin and substituted a dark beer for the chicken broth. Very tender and flavorful! Read More
(110)
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Rating: 5 stars
05/16/2012
So moist and with great flavor. I never measure just cook by smell but I upped the garlic and used the juice of a whole lime. Went a little heavy on the chili powder and cumin and only salted the meat before browning. Also threw in just a touch of cayenne for good measure. Came out awesome! I used a pork loin so I just left the meat in the dutch oven and let it work after about 2 hours it fell apart with just tongs and stirring. Put them in a flour tortilla with tomato avocado and a touch of sour creme. Served with beans and elotes made an awesome Mexican night in! Read More
(79)
Rating: 5 stars
03/10/2013
I made this recipe tonight, and WOW!! Complete out of the ballpark hit with my family. I doubled the recipe for my large family. I used pork sirloin, as that is what Costco had in the 8LB quantity. Salt and Garlic salt, then into the pot with oil to sear in batches. I pulled all the meat out, and sweated the onions and garlic in the pan juices before adding broth, spices, and meat back to the pot. Up to high uncovered, then covered on low for 2.5 hours. I then upped the heat to high and uncovered the pot to reduce the liquid by half. The meat was falling apart as I put it in the baking pan to crisp up, I added the reduced liquid to the meat a half cup at a time over the next 30 minutes. SOOOOOO Good. Served this with onions and cilantro, home made guac, and home made pico de gallo on the side. One side note, I doubled the recipe, so should have used 8 can's broth...NO way that would have worked. I ended up using 5 cans for 8lbs of meat, and it was plenty. I also read the reviews and used the extra garlic. Awesome Recipe!! (Long time member here, this was my first review!) Thanks so much!! Read More
(69)
Rating: 5 stars
06/20/2014
I just made this, and it is awesomely delicious! I followed the recipe exactly as far as ingredients. I did however cook it in the crockpot overnight instead of on the stove. Turned it off in the morning and after an hour or two, I shredded the meat and finished it off on a baking sheet in the oven. I ended up using only one quart (4 cups) of broth in the crockpot. I will definitely make this again and again. Read More
(58)
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Rating: 5 stars
07/26/2012
This recipe is perfect! I followed it exactly with one exception - I added about 1/2 cup of coca cola to the liquid while the meat was simmmering and it turned out great. My husband is Mexican and every time we are in Mexico, my favorite food is the pork carnitas from the little trucks. I have been trying to make something that comes close and this recipe is it. Thank you for sharing this. I will be making this one often! Read More
(51)
Rating: 5 stars
08/01/2015
I had every intention of photographing this. I really did. But here’s what happened – the smell of this was driving me nuts the whole time it was cooking. I mean it. By the time we sat down to eat I could hardly stand my hunger anymore. And once we put our carnitas tacos together with locally made flour tortillas, pico de gallo, cheese (for Hubs), lettuce and sour cream, I thought I died and went to heaven. No exaggerating, this is one fine recipe. I used boneless pork sirloin chops and, with the exception of using half the amount of Kosher salt called for, I prepared this exactly as the recipe directed, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve already told you how good this smelled and this meat, this meal as we put it together, did not let us down. The meat is SO flavorful, with a flavor all its own, so good I wouldn’t even think about messing with those seasonings. I made this in the Dutch oven as instructed, right up until the simmering. At that point I transferred everything to my slow cooker and cooked it on high for three hours. I’ve made carnitas like this before, but never took the extra step of browning the meat first. I believe this is an important step that ought not be omitted. My only criticism is with the salt. Even using Kosher salt as directed (NOT table salt) the amount called for would have ruined this. But given the heads up by other reviewers to that effect, I cannot in good conscience dock the rating for an otherwise perfect recipe. Read More
(46)
Rating: 5 stars
09/19/2012
I loved the cooking method for these carnitas!! Seriously best I've ever made or bought eating out. I do admit I did a few things differently. I upped the spices, did a dry rub on the pork and then fried it till crispy and brown before adding homemade broth. I added an orange, juice and rind and more garlic then followed the rest of the instructions exactly. AMAZING. Like I said I only played with the spicing. This is a great way to prepare carnitas. Read More
(46)
Rating: 3 stars
09/08/2013
Texture was perfect, but meat was waaaaay too salty. Salt overpowered the cumin and chili powder. 1 Tablespoon would have been plenty. Easy fix for an otherwise good recipe. Read More
(33)