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User Rating 4.5 Star Rating (3 Reviews)


Carnitas tacos
Mike McCune/Flickr
Carnitas make a great filling for your tacos, tortas and burritos. They are chewy with crispy pieces on the outside. Carnitas are also tasty alone or with a little crema and salsa.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes


  • 3 lbs pork (shoulder or butt)
  • 5 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf (laurel)
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 3 cups orange juice
  • Broth to cover meat
  • Lard or oil for frying
  • salt to taste


In a large pot, brown the pork on both sides. Carefully add in the orange juice, then add broth to cover meat. Add in garlic, bay leaf and the onion. Bring the liquid to a boil then turn it down to a simmer for 2 1/2 hours. At the end of the cooking time, turn up the heat to help evaporate the excess liquid. When the liquid is gone, and just the fat is left, use tongs to break up the meat into smaller chunks (think golf-ball size or smaller) and begin to fry them in the remaining fat. Add a few sprinkles of salt while you are doing this.

The pork is ready when the edges of the chunks become browned and crispy. You can serve it as-is in the larger chunks, or you can remove it from the pot and chop it up into smaller pieces to use as a filling for tacos or burritos.

Note- One of the comments/ratings mentions that this is traditionally done over an open fire. While this is true, a lot of people don't have access to an outdoor open fire. While the reviewer suggests that making carnitas in your home could increase the fire danger, I believe you can make delicious carnitas indoors, in your kitchen without any more danger than typical home cooking.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
Great Carnitas!, Member lpelo

I was looking for a good recipe for carnitas...and this is it! Other recipes called for using beer and other ingredients but I really don't like the taste of beer in my food. Using the orange juice and garlic really gives this a great flavor. Also I like that it's done in a pot in a couple of hours instead of having to cook it all day in the slow cooker. It tastes great and I'm making it today for the 3rd time. My kids love it too.

3 out of 3 people found this helpful.

See all 3 reviews

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