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Pork Carnitas Recipe

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This recipe for Pork Carnitas, by , is from Rhonda and Lorne's Dia de los Muertos Wedding Cookbook, one of the cookbooks created at We'll help you start your own personal cookbook! It's easy and fun. Click here to start your own cookbook!

Rhonda Hemstreet


5 lb / 2.5 kg pork shoulder (pork butt), skinless, bone-in (4lb/2kg without bone)
1 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, deseeded, chopped
2 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 oranges, juice only (or sub with 3/4 cup fresh orange juice)

1 tbsp dried oregano
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp olive oil

Rinse and dry pork shoulder, rub in salt and pepper. Combine rub ingredients and rub over pork. Place pork in a slow cooker (fat cap up), top with onion, jalapeño, minced garlic (don't worry about spreading it) and squeeze over juice of orange. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 6 hours
Meat should be tender and falling off bone. Remove from slow cooker and let cool slightly. Then shred pork using two forks. Skim off fat from juices remaining in slow cooker and discard fat. If you are left with a lot more than 1 1/2 to 2 cups of juice, then reduce (either in slow cooker on sauté setting with lid off, or in a saucepan). The liquid will be SALTY, it is seasoning for the pork. Set aside.

To Serve
Heat 1 tbsp oil in large non stick pan over high heat. Place shredded pork into pan, drizzle over some juices. Wait until juices evaporate and bottom side is golden brown and crusty. Turn and briefly sear other side - don't make it brown all over because then it's too crispy, need tender juicy bits.
Repeat in batches (may take 4 batches) - as not to crowd pan.
Remove pork from skillet. Drizzle over more juices and serve immediately (if using defrosted carnitas, this is not applicable as juices are already on meat)
If reheating carnitas, then flip and cook other side briefly just to warm through. Best to make one side crusty and leave other side juicy and moist.

Number Of Servings:
Number Of Servings:
Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
1. If using a piece of pork that is smaller, reduce salt accordingly. If your pork is more than 1 lb / 0.5 kg larger or smaller than the prescribed size, ensure you adjust other ingredients accordingly as well, not just salt.
2. To make this in oven, add 1 cup of water to braising liquid. Place in 325F/160C oven for 2 hours, covered, then roast for another 1 to 1.5 hours uncovered. Add more water if liquid dries out too much. You should end up with 1 1/2 to 2 cups of liquid when it finishes cooking. If you make this recipe in oven, you could skip pan frying step because you will get a nice brown crust on your pork.
3. Use pork with skin removed but leaving some of fat cap on. The fat adds juiciness to carnitas!




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