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tex-mex carnitas recipe


This authentic carnitas recipe is the perfect way to learn how to make carnitas! You'll love how simple these are, but oh my gosh, the flavor is just out of this world!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword classic recipes, comfort food, easy dinner recipes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Total Time 3 hours
Servings 16 servings
Calories 152kcal


  • 4-5 pounds boneless pork shoulder or pork butt cut into 2-inch cubes, fat left intact
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup lime juice from about 2 to 3 limes
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt plus more to taste
  • For serving: corn tortillas, cheese, Southwestern Slaw or shredded lettuce, and salsa verde


  • Place the pork in a large, heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven. Add the orange juice, lime juice, garlic, cumin, and salt. Add just enough water to the pot to cover the pork.
  • Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer uncovered, without stirring, for 2 hours.
  • Increase the heat to medium high and stir/turn the meat occasionally. The more you move the meat around the more it will fall apart.
  • Continue cooking for 45 minutes or until all of the water has evaporated, leaving only the pork fat. Let it fry, stirring often to break up the meat, until the pieces are somewhat crispy and browned.
  • Add more salt as needed and serve on tortillas with garnishes.


(Do not fear the bottom of your pan. It will be a black, thick layer of horror, but fill it with water and leave to soak over night. Everything will wipe right out in the morning.)


Calories: 152kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 352mg | Potassium: 463mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 25IU | Vitamin C: 7.2mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1.2mg