Slow-Braised Pork Carnitas for Taco Night

pork carnitasPork Carnitas are a popular Mexican street food that are easy to re-create in your own kitchen. The meat is slow-braised in a savory liquid of chicken stock, lime juice, and spices until it's fall-apart-tender, then browned in the oven so the outside is slightly crispy. Served with tortillas along with salsa, cheese, and your favorite taco toppings, pork carnitas are the perfect main course for your Cinco de Mayo celebration!


Pork Carnitas from Meals in Heels

  • 3 1/2 lb boneless pork shoulder or leg, cut into 2 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp smoked sweet paprika
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 4 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 large onion, cut into chunks
  • 4 large garlic cloves, halved
  • 1 long strip orange peel, white pith removed

Rub pork with the oregano and paprika and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan over high heat. Brown pork -- about 1-2 minutes on all sides. Add the lime juice and stock and bring to a simmer. Add the onion, garlic, and orange peel. Reduce the heat to as low as possible and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 3 hours or until the pork is fork tender and falling apart.

Drain the pork, reserving the braising liquid. Transfer the pork to a large roasting tray and, using 2 forks, pull the meat into bite-sized chunks. Pour 1 cup reserved braising liquid over the pork and roast for 15 minutes at 425 or until the juices have evaporated and the meat is browned.


Image via mccun934/Flickr

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