Mains, Gluten-Free, Parties & Potlucks
Carnitas are citrus and spice infused braised pork that’s often browned in the oven before using.They’re kind of like Mexican pulled pork.


  • 4 pounds pork butt, cubed
  • 8 cloves garlic smashed
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro leaves chopped
  • 1 orange, juiced and 1/2 of it zested
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon ancho powder
  • 1 teaspoon mild chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt.


  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a heavy pot with a lid. Cook the carnitas on a low flame for about two hours until the meat is falling apart, stirring occasionally.
  2. Drain excess fat by placing a colander over a bowl and drain the liquids. Keep the meat in a container in the refrigerator. Pour fat and drippings from the bowl into a heat-proof container. Put the fat container in the refrigerator or freezer until the fat can be removed and saved for another purpose. Mix the drippings back into the meat.
  3. To use the carnitas, preheat oven to 450 °. Place the meat on a sheet pan and crisp it in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes.
Total time:
Yield: About 7 cups


Use carnitas for tacos, burritos, tostadas, tortas, etc. I used it as a base for my Carnitas Pie.