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Carnitas Recipe

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This recipe for Carnitas, by , is from Cooking Diary of a Texas Cowgirl, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We'll help you start your own personal cookbook! It's easy and fun. Click here to start your own cookbook!

Denise Sypesteyn


3 lbs pork butt or pork shoulder
1 orange, quartered
1 lime
1 tsp garlic, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup Pepsi (optional)
cup oil or shortening
flour tortillas

Spice Rub:
cup paprika
2 tsp cayenne
2 tbsp salt
2 tsp white pepper
2 tbsp course black pepper
2 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp oregano

Marinade yields 3 cups (only use 1 cup)
Please note: Using the marinade and Pepsi is not traditional and is simply an option for something a little different. Pepsi helps tenderize the meat and lends a slight flavor as well.

1 cup soy sauce
2 cups pineapple juice
2 tbsp cumin
2 tsp garlic, minced
cup fresh lime juice

Trim away excess fat from pork and cut into 3-inch pieces. Generously coat the meat with dried spice rub.

Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
If you choose to marinade: squeeze juice from oranges into container, add the peels, fresh garlic, pepper, Pepsi and marinade - mix to combine well. Add seasoned meat and refrigerate overnight.

Otherwise, simply season meat with dry rub, then heat oil/shortening in a large heavy skillet over high heat until fat is smoking; add pork and brown completely on all sides- about 15 minutes.

Add water or beef stock (or the reserved marinade), orange juice. Lime juice, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper. Simmer for about 2 hours, until pork is tender and dark brown- add additional liquid as needed while cooking to keep meat covered. Remove meat and shred in small pieces. Serve with hot, soft flour tortillas or flat, fried corn tortillas topped with guacamole and Pico de Gallo salsa.

In New Mexico, I have had the carnitas served in a warm flour tortilla, folded and topped with melted Queso Mexicana (white cheese) and green chiles. Muy Rico!




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