Pork Carnitas

Eliza Adam


This Mexican pulled-pork dish is perfect for a weeknight dinner. I just love the tenderness and succulent texture of spice pork shoulder for my taco filling. It’s muy delicioso!


  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 t. Mexican oregano
  • 2 T ground cumin
  • 1 dried Ancho chile, or 1 t. chili powder
  • 2 t. salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 1/2 – 3 lbs. boneless Carlton Farms pork shoulder or pork butt
  • Juice from one orange
  • 1 medium yellow onion, quartered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Water to cover
  • 1-2 T canola oil


  1. Combine the garlic, oregano, cumin, chile or chili powder, and salt in a bowl. Cut the pork into sizeable chunks. Toss pork pieces with spices.
  2. Brown pork pieces in batches in a Dutch oven or heavy enameled pot, about 15-20 minutes, then remove to a plate. Deglaze the pan’s bottom with orange juice, stirring to break up the brown bits. Put all the meat back into the pan with the onion, then add bay leaves and enough water to cover the meat.
  3. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer. Cook about 2 hours, flipping the pieces once during cooking, until meat is soft and fork-tender. When the pork is tender, remove from pot and set on a plate. Discard the onion and bay leaves. Boil the remaining braising liquid, until it begins to reduce significantly; set aside about 1/2 C.
  4. Preheat boiler on high heat. Move pork pieces with a slotted spoon to a lightly oiled roasting pan. Shred meat with 2 forks. Toss the meat with the reduced braising liquid, adjust seasoning to taste, and broil meat until it begins to brown and caramelize. Serve on warm tortillas with Grilled Corn Salsa and other fixings as desired.