How to Make Tasty Carnitas

Carnitas recipe

Easy to make and heavenly to eat.

What you need:

4 lbs of boneless pork neck or butt (shoulder)

or however much you have, just increase or decrease the other ingredients accordingly.

Pork neck

Pork butt

Basically you want a fatty part of pork that's good for long cook time.

1 and a quarter tbsp kosher salt

1.5 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1.5 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cayenne

1 tsp chili powder

3/4 tsp Chinese 5-spice

10 cloves of garlic, peeled

2 oranges, peel and juice

2 bay leaves (good idea to tear them in half so the flavor comes out more evenly)

1/3 cup olive oil (cheap, not extra virgin)

Here's what you do:

Turn your oven on to preheat to 275°F/135°C.

Cut the meat into about 2 inch by 2 inch pieces. You don't have to be accurate about it, just make sure the pieces are about the same size. It's good to cut where the meat seems to separate itself. If there's some extra fat on the surface, cut it up into little pieces and put it in with the meat. It'll help keep the meat moist and gives it flavor.

Put your meat pieces and fat into a mixing bowl large enough so you can mix in all the spices. Add all your spices, cloves and the bay leaves. Peel the oranges using a vegetable peeler, but make sure you get as little of the white in as possible. Then press in their juices. Add the oil and rub and mix everything thoroughly. It's best to use your hands.

Put your meat on a deep oven tray and make sure everything is spread evenly (the peels, cloves and leaves). Put some doubled up aluminum foil on the tray and make sure it's air tight. Put in the oven for 3 and half to 4 hours until meats are fork tender and look like this.

Now turn your oven up to 435°F/225°C and on the broiler setting.

Take the meats out on a colander that's on a bowl and remove all the peels and cloves and leaves. Then pour the drippings over the meats through the colander. Return the meats on the tray and scoop the dripping fat from the surface on the meat pieces. Once the oven is hot put the tray to the top. After 10-15 minutes look, if the meats are good and crispy. If not, add some more fat on them and return them to the oven for another 10-15 minutes until they look like this.

These amazing pieces meats are crispy on the top, juicy in the middle and so flavorful. You can eat how ever you want, but I think they're best on a taco with some salsa and some of that golden braising liquid. Easy to make and heavenly to eat. Enjoy!

Have a good day!


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  • Thanks but I'm vegan

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  • Not sure when any Mexican grabbed Chinese 5 spice for any authentic recipe

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    • I never said it was an authentic recipe. Cooking is not in a vacuum. You can borrow things from other food cultures, if they work. That's how all food cultures were created anyway.

    • Easy there! It was sarcasm.

    • Okay :D It just doesn't come across in text unless it's super obvious

  • Nice! Thanks for sharing.

    Wouldn't it be nice if a woman knew how to cook something like this? Women today can hardly boil water. So sad.

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