Central American · Recipes



Carnitas are delicious in a fresh tortilla or tostada. I enjoy them with guacamole or avocado.

You will need:

  • 1 3.5-4 lb boneless pork butt roast, trimmed of fat, and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 2 tbs lime juice
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 oranges – use them to make 1/3 cup orange juice and keep the halves.
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh cilantro
  • lime wedges
  • warm tortillas
  • avocado*


Step one:

Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees.

Combine pork, water, onion, lime juice, oregano, cumin, bay leaves, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper in dutch oven. The liquid should barely cover the meat. Add orange juice and spent orange halves to pot. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium high heat on the stove.

Cover pot and transfer to the oven. Cook until the meat is soft and falls apart, about 2 hours.

Step two:

Remove pot from the oven. Use a slotted spoon and transfer pork to a bowl. Throw away the orange halves, onion and bay leaves. Do not skim the fat from the liquid. Place the pot over high heat and simmer the braising liquid, stir often until thick and syrupy (10-12 minutes). You should have 1 cup of reduced liquid.

Step three:

Shred the pork with 2 forks on a cutting board or preferred surface. Return the pork to the bowl and add the braising liquid. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Step four:

Spread pork pieces in an even layer on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. Broil pork until well browned and edges are slightly crisp on both sides (10-15 minutes).

Serve with tortillas,  cilantro and lime.





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