Carnitas Recipe

I love this recipe. The flavor is the best of several carnitas recipes I’ve tried. I just made it in a pressure cooker for the first time and you can get this table ready in about an hour. Amazing! This is the easiest AND tastiest carnitas. You won’t be able to get on the plate as your eating it right out of the pan!


For the pork:
3 (5-inch) fresh marjoram sprigs
2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 bay leaf
1 medium white onion, peeled and quartered through the root end
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes (do not trim the fat)

For serving (optional):
– Corn or flour tortillas
– Guacamole
– Salsa
– Chopped fresh cilantro leaves
– Lime wedges

How To Make Carnitas


1. Combine marjoram, garlic, coriander, and bay leaf in a small piece of cheesecloth and tie it tightly with butcher’s twine. Place the bundle in a Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed pot along with the onion and salt. Arrange the pork in a single layer and add enough water to just cover the meat. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Skim and discard any foam that floats to the surface using a large spoon. Simmer, skimming the surface and turning the pork pieces occasionally, until the meat is tender and just beginning to shred apart, about 2 1/2 hours. (You may need to adjust the heat to medium low to keep it at a simmer).

2. Remove and discard the herb packet and onion quarters. Increase the heat to medium high and cook until the remaining water evaporates and just the rendered fat coats the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to low and let the meat fry in the fat, turning occasionally, until browned all over, about 20 minutes. Remove and discard any large pieces of unrendered fat and serve the carnitas in tacos, burritos, or tostadas with your desired toppings.

3. In a small bowl, combine the salt and pepper. Season the pork roast generously with the mixture.

4. In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the pork and cook, turning frequently until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a platter and set aside.

5. Pour off all but a thin layer of fat in the pan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté just until they begin to soften, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the beer and deglaze the pan, stirring and scraping up the browned bits from the pan bottom with a wooden spoon.

6. Oven method: Preheat an oven to 350°F. Transfer the pork to a large Dutch oven and pour in the beer mixture. Add the orange and lime zests and juices and the oregano. Cover and cook until the pork is very tender, about 2 1/2 hours.

7. Slow-cooker method: Transfer the pork to a slow cooker and pour in the beer mixture. Add the orange and lime zests and juices and the oregano. Cover and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions until the pork is very tender, about 5 hours on high or 10 hours on low.

8. Transfer the pork to a carving board and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Using a large, shallow spoon or a ladle, skim as much fat as possible from the surface of the cooking liquid. Using a large, sharp knife and a fork, coarsely cut and shred the pork into small bite-size pieces.

9. Arrange the meat on a warmed platter or individual plates, moisten it lightly with the cooking juices, and serve immediately with the tortillas, lime wedges, chopped onion, salsa and cilantro. Serves 6 to 8.

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