September 20, 2010


I saw this dish on last week's episode of America's Test Kitchen.  I just love that show and I learn a lot when I watch it.  Carnitas are all about 1. the flavor and 2. the crispiness of the meat.  I would have to say that Mexican food is probably my favorite type of food, so I knew I would like these and America's Test Kitchen said that this is one of the top ten recipes of all time that they have had on the show.  Now, that is saying a lot because, they have tried a ton of recipes over the years.  If you try to get the recipe on their website, it will be grayed out unless you sign up, but here is a link to the video of them making it.  

These were really really good and Jake even said "These are the best tacos we have ever made", so give them a try.  I ate mine on a toasted corn shell and Jake had a flour shell.  We topped with salsa (that got pureed a little too much), shredded cheese, cilantro, sour cream and a squirt of lime juice.
Carnitas (Mexican Pulled Pork)
adapted from: America's Test Kitchen

3 1/2 - 4 Lbs. boneless pork shoulder
1 tsp. mexican oregano (I used regular oregano)
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 bay leaves
2 Tbl. fresh lime juice
1/2 small onion, cut in half
2 c. water
1/3 c. fresh orange juice
*We also added 1/2 Tbl. minced garlic, but that is optional

Cut pork into 2-inch cubes.  Cut out any large pockets of fat, but leave some fat, because it adds valuable flavor.  Place pork cubes in a large, oven-safe pot.  Sprinkle with oregano, cumin, salt and pepper.  Add bay leaves, garlic (if adding), lime juice, onion chunks and water.  Juice an orange and add the juice and the orange halves to the pot. Stir together and bring to a simmer.  Then,  put in a 300 degree oven, with lid on.  Cook about two hours, flip meat over halfway through.  When done, it should be fork tender.  Remove from oven and take out all the solids.  Put the meat in a bowl and discard the onion, orange halves and the bay leaves.  Cut some of the meat into smaller pieces.  Boil the remaining liquid to form a glaze, about 10-15 minutes.  Pour the glaze over the meat and toss to coat.  Spread out evenly onto a rack placed over a cookie sheet.  Place back in the oven on the middle rack and broil 5-8 minutes, flip over and broil 5-8 minutes more to get nice and crispy.  Serve on toasted tortilla shells with desired toppings.      


  1. I made this a few weeks ago and it is simply amazing. Probably my favorite carnitas recipe, hands down. Today, I'm going to try it with chicken. I know it won't taste quite as good, but it's all I have to work with! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. @Maurine - I am so glad you liked it - we really LIKE it too!