Pork! We love pork!
Pork has always been a staple meat in our house growing up and now in my own house. As I started cooking more and learning more about different flavors, I started to experiment more and not to always stick to my traditional way of cooking. Pork Carnitas is a different way of cooking pork for me, in the sense that I’ve never used citrus on pork before. Pork Carnitas is a Mexican dish, and the pork is braised for a long time with herbs, spices and citrus like lime or oranges. Carnitas literally means little meats, little pieces of meat.
So let me tell you something, if you’ve never had pork carnitas before, I strongly urge you to try this recipe. You will not regret it. There is so much flavor here and pairing up pork with citrus is brilliant. We could not stop eating this meat. It’s so perfect for tacos, burritos, tamales, sandwiches, you name it. It’s to die for.
To make these pork carnitas is very simple, it just may take a bit of time.
For pork carnitas it’s best to use pork butt or pork shoulder, you want meat that has a bit of fat on it. I used pork shoulder here. Start by cutting up the meat into bigger pieces that are about 2 inches. Now I used a cast iron pot, but you can use any pot that is oven proof, if you’re going to cook the meat in the oven, otherwise any other pot would do. Place the meat in the pot, add all the spices, onion, juice from the orange, lime juice and the remaining orange halves. Pour the water over meat and cook on medium high until the water starts to boil. Cover the pot and place it in the oven for a couple hours at 300 F degrees until the meat falls apart when prodded with a fork. If you cook this over stove top, it will take a bit longer, about 3 to 3.5 hours.
After the 2 hours, remove the meat from the pot with a slotted spoon and place it on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Remove everything else from the pot, except the liquid. Cook the liquid over medium high heat for about 20 minutes until it reduces to about a cup of liquid.
In the meantime, take 2 forks and start shredding the meat into smaller pieces. After the liquid has reduced cover the meat with it.
Place the meat under the broiler, for about 5 to 10 minutes, you should watch it though, each oven is different and you don’t want to burn it. Take the meat out, flip it over the other side using a spatula and then place it under the broiler again for another 5 minutes or so. You want to make sure that it’s nicely browned.
Trust me when I tell you this meat is phenomenal. It’s full of flavor, it’s rich, it melts in your mouth.