1kg boneless pork shoulder

1 onion

2 cloves garlic

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

250ml chicken stock

100ml orange juice

vegetable oil, for frying


1. Cut the pork shoulder into 3-4cm pieces and place in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add the onion, garlic, bay leaf, oregano, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Pour over the chicken stock and orange juice.

2. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, for 2-3 hours, or until the pork is very tender.

3. Remove the lid and increase the heat to medium. Cook for a further 30 minutes to allow the liquid to reduce and the pork to start to brown.

4. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

5. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and add enough oil to generously coat the bottom. Add the pork pieces in batches and cook until golden brown all over.

6. Transfer the Carnitas to a baking dish and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until crisp and caramelised.

7. Serve immediately with warm tortillas, salsa, guacamole and lime wedges.

Potential changes & improvements

-You could use a different cut of pork, such as pork belly or pork loin.

-Try adding some chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for a smoky, spicy flavour.

-For a sweeter carnitas, add a tablespoon or two of honey to the cooking liquid.

What other food it works well with

-Carnitas are often served with warm tortillas, salsa, guacamole and lime wedges.

-They would also be great served with rice, beans and a simple salad.

Common Mistakes

-Not browning the pork after cooking: This step is important to give the carnitas a nice crispy exterior.

-Overcooking the pork: The pork should be cooked until it is tender, but not falling apart.

Nutritional Information

-One serving of carnitas (3-4 pieces) contains approximately:

Calories: 300

Fat: 16g

Saturated Fat: 5g

Cholesterol: 75mg

Sodium: 520mg

Carbohydrates: 9g

Fiber: 1g

Sugar: 4g

Protein: 25g


Pork, onion, garlic, chicken stock

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