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Authentic Carnitas


Cinco de Mayo is next week and Coast Packing Company, the leading supplier of animal fat shortenings in the Western U.S., sent PinalCentral its recipe for authentic carnitas featuring three pounds of lard.

¼ cup fresh lime juice
½ tablespoon salt
2 ½ pounds boneless pork shoulder
3 pounds lard
2 dozen corn tortillas


Slice the pork into 3-inch slabs. It’s important that they all end up roughly the same size, so they cook in the same amount of time.

Toss the pork into a large bowl and then add the lime juice and salt. Stir the pieces until well coated. Cover the bowl and set aside for an hour. Toss the pieces twice over the course of the hour.

Melt the lard in a large pot over medium heat.

After an hour, carefully add the pork to the pot. The lard should cover the pieces. After a few minutes, very large and lazy bubbles will pop to the surface. Let cook on medium, flipping the pieces occasionally for even cooking, for about two hours. The meat should be very tender when pierced with a fork.

Raise the temperature to medium-high. The lard will start bubbling furiously and make a lot more noise. Cook for 30 minutes.

The meat should come out all nicely browned and golden. Set the pieces on a cutting board and let sit for 10 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, fill the bottom of another pot with about a ½ inch of water and bring to a boil. Wrap the tortillas in a towel and set in a steamer basket atop the boiling water. Cover the pot.

Cook for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and let sit for 15 minutes.

Slice off a bit of the pork with a sharp knife or pull the meat apart with a fork.

Roll up a little meat in a taco, sprinkle with salt and top with salsa or desired toppings.

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