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SLOW COOKED PORK CARNITAS

Ingredients

  • 4 to 5 lb. pork should butt roast, fat trimmed
  • 1 to 2 TBLS olive oil
  • kosher salt/pepper
  • 1 white onion, quartered
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 to 4 C chicken stock
  • juice of one lime
  • juice of one orange
  • 1 TBLS chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 small jalapeño, optional
  • fresh cilantro, chopped
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Slow Cooked Pork Carnitas are definitely my choice anytime I crave Mexican food. Never made them. So, I had to try. Browned, braised, then broiled. The flavor develops at the beginning from browning the meat. The spices, vegetables and citrus take it to another level during the braising process. The quick crisp at the end is pure heaven! I was only available to get a bone-in pork shoulder butt that was just under seven pounds. I had about five pounds of meat after trimming the fat and cutting off the bone. This recipe makes a lot. As it should! Below are some recipe ideas using carnitas.

Check out my most recent recipe using pork shoulder to make the best Pork Ragu with Pappardelle! This recipe is amazing! I also used a version of these pork carnitas to create pulled pork. Check out this video on TikTok!

pork carnitas in a bowl and in three flour tortillas with limes, cilantro and red onion

HOW TO MAKE PORK CARNITAS

PORK SHOULDER

Cut the fat cap and any silvery membrane off of the pork shoulder. Cut into chucks and season generously with kosher salt and black pepper. Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottom (oven-safe) pot. I used this enameled cast iron pot from Lodge. Click here! Brown the meat in batches. Try not to overcrowd the pot. You want a sear, not a cook. Reserve on plate or bowl.

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Once all the pork chunks have been browned. Add the garlic, onion and bay leaves to the pot. Allow to cook for a minute or so. Add in about two cups of the chicken stock and the juice from the lime and orange. Season with the chili powder, cumin and oregano. For a bit of spice, I added a whole fresh jalapeño. Scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen up any browned bits. Add the meat back to the pot along with any juices. Check the liquid level. The liquid needs to cover the meat like in the photo below. Add in at least another cup of stock, or all of it. Bring to a boil.

Cover with lid and place in oven for at least three hours, or until the meat is nice and tender. About halfway through the braising process, taste the sauce. Be sure to add touch more salt, if necessary. Remove from oven and discard the bay leaves.

pork shoulder chunks braised in the oven in a red cast iron pot

TO FINISH AND SERVE THE SLOW COOKED PORK CARNITAS

With a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the pot and spread out evenly on a pan. Using two forks, shred the meat just a bit. I like to see a few larger chunks. Spoon on a touch of the liquid. Place pan under broiler for about three to four minutes. As the meat is broiling, place the pot on the stove and start reducing the liquid. After four minutes, ladle on a bit more of the liquid on top of the meat. Place back under the broiler for another four to five minutes. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.

I decided to use my carnitas for simple tacos garnished with red onion, fresh cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime. You can use Slow Cooked Pork Carnitas in wraps, as a bowl with rice, on a pizza. The possibilities are endless. Or, you may just want to eat directly off of the pan. They are that good! I did serve my tacos with a side of my Mexican Rice and Mexican Corn Salad (a take on my Mexican Street Corn recipe). ENJOY!

Leftovers are great and can be easily stored in the fridge for up to three days. Or, you can easily freeze to enjoy later!

slow cooked pork carnitas in a bowl and in three flour tortillas with limes, cilantro and red onion

LET’S GET SOCIAL!

I am more than just recipes. I love fashion and style too! Most importantly, I love my Family (my Hubby and my Fur Babies). My Husband (aka my “Kitchen Bitch”) means the world to me. He’s pretty damn cool too. Not only is he one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, he also has had a lengthy career in professional hockey. Not only winning two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the early ’90’s, but most recently winning the Calder Cup with the Charlotte Checkers, amongst many other accolades. If you live in Charlotte and play hockey, or have a family member who plays, be sure to contact him. He is known as one of the best skate sharpeners in the world!

Our life has changed dramatically in the past few years with the passing of our two goldendoodles, Vegas and Viva. We were lucky enough to have Vegas for five years (totally wish it was longer). Most recently, losing our Viva to a brain tumor in July of 2020. We welcomed our mini goldendoodle 7, almost seven years ago. We just added the amazing Hazel! Of course, I am always posting tons and tons of photos! Be sure to check out my recipe for Pet Bone Broth! This broth is super rich in nutrients and will provide your pet with a multitude of health benefits!

Be sure to follow me on social media! I’m always talking food, fashion, and family! I also love sharing some of my favorite Amazon Finds too. Click here to check out my Amazon page! Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and Pinterest!

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2 Comments

  1. […] You can also prepare this as a salad. See below! After grilling the corn, cut from the cob and combine all of the ingredients for the sauce and cheese mixture below! I would suggest if you are making as a salad, grill ten to twelve ears instead of eight. Serve up with my Slow Cooked Pork Carnitas…click here! […]


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