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Pork Carnitas

Tender and flavourful pork carnitas recipe for use in your favourite dishes.


Pork carnitas is a pulled pork dish made by braising and broiling the outer surfaces while the inside of the meat stays soft and succulent. Seasoned with a hint of heat and the mild essence of orange, carnitas goes incredibly well in a plethora of dishes.


Use the shredded pork in tacos, burritos, sandwiches, enchiladas, fajitas, carnitas nachos, or any other dish desired.


Store leftover carnitas in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or freeze for future use. Frozen it should last at least 6 months, that is, if there are any leftovers!

 

Ingredients

(Makes 12 servings)

  • ~4.5lbs (~2kg) boneless pork shoulder, cut into equal-sized pieces of about 2-inches

  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon dried cilantro

  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 red chili pepper, deseeded and diced

  • zest and juice of 1 orange

  • 4 or 5 whole allspice

  • 2 bay leaves

 

Directions

In a large bowl, place the cut pork shoulder pieces. Sprinkle the meat with the cinnamon, cilantro, Mexican oregano, cumin, chili powder, salt, and black pepper. Mix to ensure all sides of the meat pieces are seasoned. Cover and set aside for about 30 minutes.


Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C.


In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat the oil then braise the meat on all sides, working in batches if needed. Remove the braised meet from the Dutch oven then add the onion and red chili pepper. Sauté the onion and pepper until the onion it starts to become translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and sauté an additional minute. Add the orange zest and mix.


Transfer the meat pieces back into the Dutch oven along with any juices that might have accumulated in the bowl. Add the orange juice, allspice and bay leaves and mix well.


Place the lid on the Dutch oven and transfer it into the oven. Cook for 2 hours, mixing after 1 hour. The meat with be done cooking when it is fork tender. Once the meat is soft, remove the lid from the Dutch oven and increase the oven temperature to 450°F / 235°C. Allow the tops of the meat to broil for 15 minutes. Check the meat and turn if necessary to allow more of the surface to broil for another 15 minutes.


Remove from the oven, discard the bay leaves, and using forks, shred the pork. If more browning of the meat is desired, transfer the shredded meat to a sheet pan with some of the liquids from the pot, and return to the oven until the tips of the meat turn a dark brown. Return to the Dutch oven and mix with the juices prior to serving.

 
 

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

total calories = 249.5 | total fat = 8.81g | saturated fat = 3.19g | cholesterol = 82.5mg | sodium = 309.58mg | net carbohydrates = 5.62g | dietary fibre = 1.43g | sugars = 1.47g | protein = 34.92g

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