PORK CARNITAS RECIPE
I can’t say enough about these carnitas. You know how much I love Mexican food. Something about juicy pork with just slightly crispy edges cooked in amazing spices and brightened with orange and lime citrus flavor is the full sensory experience!
WHAT ARE CARNITAS?
Carnitas are the Mexican version of pulled pork usually made from the pork shoulder or pork butt. Carnitas literally means “little meats”.
WHAT CUT OF PORK SHOULD I GET?
If you’re like me, you hover over the meat section at your grocery store confused on what cut of meat to get. Look for boneless pork shoulder or sometimes called pork butt. I have used a pork tenderloin before but because it’s so lean it tends to come out dry.
HOW TO MAKE CARNITAS
Start by trimming the visible fat off and cutting your pork into about 4-inch chunks. The large chunks helps make sure the spices all get distributed and that it cooks evenly.
Add your dry rub spices: kosher salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, and chili powder.
Sprinkle the meat with the spices and toss gently.
Top with an onion cut into wedges and garlic. Pour orange juice, lime juice, chicken broth, and olive oil on top.
PORK CARNITAS INSTANT POT
- Cook pork for an hour in the Instant Pot or 6-8 hours in the slow cooker and fall-apart tender. Once pork is done, remove the meat from the pot and shred with two forks, discarding any fat pieces.
- Reserve the cooking liquid in the pot for braising liquid. Line shredded pork on a baking sheet, pour 1 cup of juices on top and broil for 5-8 minutes or until the edges start to get crispy. That’s the best part!
Serve! Add all the toppings and eat in a warm tortilla.
HOW TO SERVE CARNITAS
CAN I FREEZE CARNITAS?
This can also be refrigerated for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.
IS THIS KETO FRIENDLY?
Yes, just skip the tortilla. My Keto husband loads his meat with cheese, lettuce, sour cream, guacamole, and pico de gallo.
OTHER MEXICAN RECIPES:
- Salsa Verde Enchiladas
- Creamy Shrimp Enchiladas
- One-Pan Chicken Enchilada Skillet
- Mexican Stuffed Shells
- Taco Pizza
- Fiesta Chicken Pasta Bake
- Baked Chicken Chimichangas
- Tater Taco Casserole
- Taco Grilled Cheese
- 1 6-8 lb boneless pork butt or shoulder
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth or water
- 1/2 cup orange juice, (about 1 orange)
- 1/4 cup lime juice, (about 2 limes)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, cut in wedges
- 4 cloves garlic
- Trim the fat from your pork and cut pork into 4-inch cubes. Place in instant pot or slow cooker. Sprinkle pork with the salt, oregano, cumin, chili powder, and pepper. Toss to coat.
- Pour in the chicken broth, orange juice, lime juice, and drizzle with olive oil. Add the onion and garlic on top. Cook in the instant pot on high pressure for 1 hour, letting the pressure release naturally. For the the slow cooker, cook for 6-8 hours on low.
- Preheat broiler and line two baking sheets with aluminum foil. Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat and shred with two forks, discarding any remaining fat. You will use the juice later.
- Place shredded meat in a single layer on the pans. Pour about 1 cup of juices from the pot over each of the pans of pork. Broil one pan at a time for 5-8 minutes or until the edges are crispy. Toss with additional juices from the pan. Squeeze with more lime if desired and fresh cilantro. Serve on flour or corn tortillas with all of your favorite toppings.