| Regional Foods | Cooking Articles
| Culinary Dictionary
This and photos are courtesy of Melanie and her cooking blog called Duck Soup. Melanie says,
"We love all things Mexican at our house, but carnitas are a particular favorite."
There are probably as many different
carnita recipes as there are chili con carne recipe. In Mexico, carnitas are a popular
snack. The pork is often used as a filling in tacos, but carnitas are
cooked and eaten in a variety of styles. Melanie's recipe is
easy-to-make and delicious!
Learn more about tortillas and tacos, check our the
History of Tortillas & Tacos.
Pork Carnita Recipe
Yields: 6 servings
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 90 min
2 to 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder
Mexican oregano, to taste
Salt to taste
Flour or corn tortillas*
Grated sharp cheddar cheese
How To Make Corn Tortillas and/or
** Check out some favorite
Guacamole and Salsa recipes.
(1) Cut up the pork shoulder into 1-inch chunks.
NOTE: You will NOT remove the fat because the fat is what makes it good. In fact, if you
use a lean cut of pork like the tenderloin, you will need to add some lard to your skillet.
(2) Place pork cubes in your
cast-iron skillet or a large heavy frying pan. Sprinkle with Mexican oregano and salt.
(3) Add enough water to almost cover the pork cubes (let some of the meat break
through the surface).
(4) Over medium-high heat, bring water just to
a boil; reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for 45 to 60 minutes or until
the water cooks down and the pork carnitas meat ntil all
liquid evaporates and the pork is crisp and easily pierced with a
fork (the pork will render all of its fat and get nice and crisp in the pan). Remove from heat.
Either leave in the cubes or place the pork on a cutting board.
Using two forks, shred the pork into thin strips. Keep the pork
carnita meat warm while preparing your other ingredients.
(5) After the pork is cooked, remove the
pork and clean out your skillet. Place
skillet back on medium heat to get hot. If
you are using store-bought tortillas, heat
the tortillas one-by-one in the hot skillet.
If you heat them on a skillet you may need
to use either little butter, vegetable oil,
or cooking spray to help soften them. When
air pockets form in the tortillas they are
To serve, double
up the tortillas
and place a few
spoonfuls of the
pork carnitas on
them. Top with guacamole, salsa, sour cream
and/or grated cheese (use whatever
condiments you prefer).
Cooked pork carnita meat may
be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Reheat before using.