Carnitas translates as “little meats” but refers to little pieces of pork. Every time we order food from the Mexican restaurant down the street, my husband orders something with carnitas whether it’s tacos or the quesadilla or whatever the wrap may be, so I thought I better figure out how to make them myself. This particular recipe got rave reviews on Pinterest. The original recipe is here, but I am reposting here just in case that one disappears.
4lb pork butt, trimmed and cut into 2″ cubes
1 1/2 t salt
3/4 t pepper
1 t ground cumin
1 onion, peeled and halved
2 bay leaves
1 t oregano
2 T lime juice
2 c water
1 medium orange, juiced, keep halves
Mix everything together in a Dutch oven. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Cover. Transfer to a 300* oven on the lowest rack. Cook until the meat falls apart (approximately 2 hours). Using a spotted spoon, remove the meat and place on a foil-lined jelly roll pan. Remove everything else from the liquid and discard. Bring the liquid to a boil for approximately 20 minutes.
While liquid is boiling, pull pork into 3 pieces. Once liquid has reduced, add pork back in and season with salt and pepper to taste. Return to foil-lined pan. Broil 5-8 minutes. Flip. Broil 5-8 additional minutes.
Everyone in our house loved these. We ate them with a homemade chirmol (like a tomato salsa) in corn tortillas. I wish I coukd post that recipe, but I can’t because nithing in it is measured – it’s all to taste and “eyeballed”! Anyway, you know the carnitas are good when your Latino husband suggests his gringa wife make them for his family. 🙂 These will definitely be made again (and again and again) in this household!