Tacos de Carnitas

Posted on 06/02/2011


Here is a recipe that’s not found in Rick Bayless’ Authentic Mexican, I adapted this from one I found on another blog.  I’ve made carnitas before in the crockpot but I like this version better.  For one thing it takes about  half the time (3 hours as opposed to 6).  But whats really great about this recipe is that after all the water and citrus juice cook off, the pork braises in its own rendered fat.  Aside from great porky flavor, this technique allows the meat to get nice and crispy on the outside.


  • 4 Pounds of boneless pork shoulder
  • 1.5 cups of citrus juice (i used a blend of freshly squeezed orange & lime)
  • 3 cups of water
  • 2 packets of Sazon Goya (with culantro y achiote)

Step 1.  Slice the pork into strips, about an inch thick and place the strips in a nice heavy pot.  Add the Sazon, citrus juice and water.  The liquid should be just enough to cover the meat.  Bring it to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 2 hours, no need to stir just let the meat do its thing.

Step 2.  By this point most of the water/juice is cooking off and the fat is mostly rendered.  Turn up the heat to medium and continue to cook for about 40 minutes.  Stir it occasionally so nothing gets stuck to the bottom and burns.

Step 3.  Now nearly all the liquid should have cooked away and the pork should be really nice and tender.  Turn up the heat to high and cook for 5 more minutes.  Stir frequently, you want the pork to get crispy, and I think a little char is ok but not totally burnt.

Step 4:  Remove the pot from heat and transfer the pork to another container.  Sprinkle a little sea salt on top and let the meat rest for about 5 minutes or so before serving.

You can serve your carnitas however you like.  I made mine into tacos with onion, cilantro, homemade salsa verde, and a squeeze of lime.  ¡Buen apetito!