Basic Carnitas

by on May 3, 2012 » Add the first comment.
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Use for Tacos and Burritos

This is really easy, but it does take some planning to allow for slow cooking times.

For the carnitas meat itself:

  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-3 inch cubes (do not trim the fat)
  • 3 (5-inch) fresh marjoram sprigs
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 medium white onion, peeled and quartered through the root end
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 can chicken stock

For serving (optional):

  • Corn or flour tortillas
  • Guacamole
  • Salsa
  • Chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Lime wedges


  1. Brine overnight in 1 C water plus 1 TBL each Grandpa's Thunder Powder, Arghh Powder, or other., 1 bay leaf, salt, brown sugar and granulated garlic
  2. The next day, let the pieces of meat drain on a paper towel for 30 minutes
  3. Sear in a very hot skillet until meat starts to blacken and the edges crisp up
  4. Place the marjoram, garlic, coriander, and bay leaf in a small piece of cheesecloth and tie it tightly with butcher’s twine.
  5. Place the bundle in a Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed pot along with the onion and salt.
    Leave the end of the string hanging over the edge of your Dutch oven
  6. Arrange the pork in a single layer and add chicken stock
  7. Add enough water to just cover the meat.
  8. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  9. Skim and discard any foam that floats to the surface using a large spoon.
  10. Reduce heat, COVER and simmer in barely boiling liquid, skimming the surface and turning the pork pieces occasionally, until the meat is tender and just beginning to shred apart, about 3 hours. (You may need to adjust the heat to medium low to keep it at a simmer.)
  11. Remove and discard the herb packet.
  12. Increase the heat to medium high and cook until much of the remaining water evaporates.
  13. Meanwhile, STRAIN the remaining liquid and discard the solids, returning the liquid to the pot
  14. Reduce the liquid until it concentrates, and then add 1/2 stick of butter and 1 TBL flour
  15. Stir until it thickens for gravy/juice for serving with your carnitas
  16. Serve the carnitas in tacos, burritos, or tostadas with your desired toppings.
    You can also just serve the meat with potatoes using the gravy created in step 15

Find more like this: Meat to Eat RED, World Cuisine

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