This slow cooked pork just falls apart and is great for tacos, burritos or enchiladas. The 3 hours it takes simmering on the stove top fills your home with an amazing aroma. My choice for cut of meat is the pork butt. (this is not to be confused with a actual pig’s butt either.) The pork butt is actually a shoulder cut, and it can be purchased with bone-in or out.
Serve on fresh corn or flour tortillas with sides of fresh limes, chopped cilantro, chopped onions. I also like to spread some refried beans on the tortilla first and load up the rest! Break out that big cooking pot because this takes up some space!
In the below photos the recipe was quadrupled for a party.
Authentic Mexican CarnitasPrint Pin Rate
- 6 lbs boneless pork shoulder (pork butt) cut into 3-inch cubes
- kosher salt
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1/2 orange
- 1/2 onion
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 tbsp Mexican oregano (See Note 1)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 lbs pork lard (See Note 2)
- 2 oz Piloncillo (See Note 3)
- 1/3 cup milk
- corn or flour tortillas
- refried beans
- 2 white onions sliced
- 1 bunch of cilantro chopped
- 3 limes sliced
- salsa verde or salsa fresca
- Rub the kosher salt all over the pork. Place in a sealed container and refrigerate overnight.
- In a large piece of cheesecloth, wrap the garlic cloves, orange, onion, bay leaves, Mexican oregano and cinnamon stick and secure with kitchen twine.
- Melt the lard in a large, heavy stock pot over high heat. Carefully add the pork, piloncillo and cheesecloth seasoning bundle.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, lower heat to medium (adjust heat to medium low if pork turns brown too quickly) and cook, stirring often, for 90 minutes. Pork will turn a golden brown and start to fall apart.
- Turn heat to low and carefully pour in the milk. Simmer for another 20-30 minutes until pork is falling apart.
- Carefully transfer pork from oil using a slotted spoon or spider to a serving platter line with paper towels. Season with a sprinkle of kosher salt and break into smaller pieces or shred.
- Serve with hot tortillas, refried beans, sliced onions, tomato slices, cilantro, limes and salsas of choice.
- Mexican oregano is a relative of Lemon Verbena and is native to Mexico. Similar in that it’s pungent like Mediterranean oregano, Mexican oregano has notes of mild licorice and citrus. Mediterranean oregano is a member of the mint family and most often is used in Greek and Italian recipes. Mediterranean oregano is the one most found in spice racks and supermarkets.
- I buy ARMOUR Manteca/Lard in a 4 pound tub found near the butcher/meat section at your local market.
- Piloncillo is sugar cane and can be found at most Mexican/Latin markets. It comes in 8 ounce cone shapes, wrapped. For the 2 ounces needed, I just cut a quarter chunk off or, if I don't have any on hand, will substitute a 1/4 cup of brown sugar.