Best Carnitas Recipe Ever

I married into a big Mexican family, and one of the ways I immediately won the heart of my husband was with my fabulous carnitas recipe. Carnitas = shredded Mexican pork, tender and delicious, served up usually in corn tortillas like tacos. Carnitas Tacos – this recipe is simple and amazing – my kids have been eating it since they were toddlers!

Here’s what you’ll need.

  • 1 pork roast
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 1 T. coriander
  • 1 T. cumin
  • 2 t. oregano
  • 4 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 2 T. sauce from canned chiles
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Water
  • Salt

Ooops, you’ll also need this.

Cut the roast up into about six large hunks, and throw ’em in a big pot. Add the onion (I remove the top and bottom, but leave the skin on – my chef friend told me it adds more flavor? I dunno.), all the seasonings, the chipotles plus sauce, and the chicken stock. If the pork is still poking out of the water, add enough water to the pan that it’s covered.

Cover the pan, place on a high burner, and let it boil. Once it reaches a nice boil, turn your burner down to low and leave the whole thing alone for at least three hours. During this time, your house will smell AMAZING. Your children will wander in and wonder what’s cookin’. The dog will run around, sniffing the air frantically. You’re in for a fabulous dinner, and it’s already mostly ready!

After several hours have passed, turn the burner off and remove the pork hunks from the liquid with a slotted spoon, placing them into a baking dish. Use a couple of forks to shred the meat. This is what your pork roast has become:

Now it’s time to turn on your oven to 425. While that’s heating up, slice up a bunch of lime and cilantro. You might want to make a little guacamole, too, if that’s your thing. I’ve even been known to make a pico de gallo to go along with this dish. Do what works for you, though.

Now that your oven is hot, place your baking dish of delightfully shredded pork into the oven for about ten minutes – just long enough to give it a hint of crispiness. After a few minutes, this is the amazingness that awaits you:

Heat up some corn tortillas and get ready to chow down! I put everything out on the table and let my husband and kiddos make their own tacos. It’s very simple: tortilla, as much pork as you like, and whatever you like on top. My kids add cheese and guacamole. My husband likes pico and lime. I just use lime and cilantro. Behold:

I made this a little on the small side, actually! Add as much or as little meat as you like.

I usually make refried beans and Spanish rice to go along with our carnitas. I hope you enjoy this recipe – it’s been a favorite in our family for years and years!

 
Best Carnitas Recipe Ever

Ingredients

  • 1 pork roast
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 1 T. coriander
  • 1 T. cumin
  • 2 t. oregano
  • 4 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 2 T. sauce from canned chiles
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Water
  • Salt

Instructions

  1. Cut pork roast into large chunks and place in stockpot. Add other ingredients, plus enough water to cover pork. Cover and bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce heat and simmer several hours until meat falls apart easily with fork.
  2. Remove pork from liquid with slotted spoon, place in baking dish and allow to cool slightly. Shred pork with fork.
  3. Bake pork, uncovered, in a 425 degree oven until lightly browned and crispy (about 10-15 minutes.)
  4. Serve in corn tortillas with fresh lime and cilantro. Add shredded cheese, pico de gallo, sour cream, and guacamole if desired.
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Comments

  1. Daria says:

    Love carnitas!  Will have to try this recipe, looks delish!

    1. Laura says:

      Definitely let me know what you think of it!

  2. Laura says:

    Thank you for just figuring out what we are having for dinner tomorrow! Woot Woot!

    1. Laura says:

      How’d it turn out, Laura?

  3. Tracie says:

    I have this on the stove right now, it smells so good in here! Making pico de gallo and corn tortillas, too, we can’t wait for dinner!

    1. Laura says:

      Yay!! The smell is just ridiculous. I hope you guys like it! I’m sure you will, though. Even my little kids munched on the meat by itself when they were in high chairs.

      1. Tracie says:

        10 thumbs up! it should have been 12 since Ryan had a friend over, but that kid was not feeling the love of the corn tortillas, so he ate like 3 shreds of meat and a pile of chips and salsa…Boo! I made a ton though, so we’ll be having this for dinner Monday too. Thanks for sharing 🙂

        1. Laura says:

          Right on! So glad everyone liked it!

  4. Kat Bennett says:

    Laura- what is the best cut of pork for this? And how large of a roast for the recipe?

    1. Laura says:

      Kat, I like to use a pork butt, but any cut will do. And I buy the biggest I can find, which is usually around 2 1/2 pounds at my store.

  5. […] guys! I made my practically world-famous carnitas recipe yesterday IN MY INSTANT POT and it came out INCREDIBLY good. My Instant Pot Carnitas were even more […]

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