Prep time: 25 minutes (includes chill time)
Cook time: 3 1/2 hours
Our Carnitas Recipe feeds 6-8 people; prep time is approx. 25 minutes, and total cook time is 3 ½ hours.
- 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder
- 2 ½ – 3 cups lard
- 2-3 oranges
- 3 limes
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 onion, rough chopped
- 7 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons seasoning mix
Seasoning Mix (good for two recipes)
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon, paprika
- ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
- ½ teaspoon granulated onion
- ½ teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
- 1 Tablespoons salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- In a small bowl, combine all ingredients in seasoning mix and stir until well combined.
- Cut pork shoulder into 6 equal chunks about 8oz each. Season each well with seasoning mix on all sides; use about 2 Tablespoons on all pieces combined.
- In a Dutch oven or cast iron or copper pot, melt lard over low heat. When melted, apply to half oranges and limes; give each a light squeeze. Drop the fruit into the pot; next, add crushed and peeled garlic cloves, onion and bay leaves.
- Using tongs, carefully place each piece of pork into the lard one at a time; it’s OK to push things around a little to completely submerge the pork, depending on pot size. It’s fine to add or reduce the amount of lard slightly.
- Bring to a simmer; place bay leaves on top and cover, cook on low, maintaining a slight simmer for about 3 hours. Start checking at 2 ½ hours, then every 30 minutes thereafter, for doneness.
- The pork is fully cooked when it pulls apart easily with the tongs or a fork; it should be tender. When done, remove each piece of pork using the tongs or a slotted spoon and set aside.
- When ready to serve, I like to crisp up the pork a little on a griddle or in a hot cast iron pan; it gives the carnitas an extra layer of deliciousness.
- Serve with the homemade tortillas and some fresh lime, diced onion and cilantro — or whatever your favorite toppings might be.
- If you save the carnitas for later, let the pot of liquid cool. Scrape off the fat that solidifies on top save for later; keep the juice on the bottom to reheat.
Note: These carnitas are perfect served on our Homemade Tortillas!
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