Pork Carnitas

It’s time I start updating some of my recipes. This one is definitely a family favorite and it’s so versatile. I use it for tacos, my pork chili verde, salads, burrito bowls, and even with scrambled eggs for breakfast.

Once upon a time, I was in a hurry to get dinner ready (oh wait, that’s everyday!), so I cut my pork shoulder roast into small cubes, then seared them and let them simmer for about 1.5 – 2 hours and it was already falling apart it was so tender. I then drained the liquid and turned up the heat and let the outside get a little crispy and blackened with the seasoning.  This is where all that extra flavor comes in!

This method I use to cook the pork shoulder really decreases the cooking time and I feel like it enhances the flavor so much more than using a crock-pot. A crock pot still works well if you have to cook it that way, but definitely give this method a try!

Pork Carnitas


  • 3-4 lb pork shoulder roast -cut into 2-3 inch cubes
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp ancho chili powder -can sub regular chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2-3 cups water -enough to cover the pork
  • garnish with chopped cilantro, limes, and avocado


  • Toss the cubed pork with the chili powder, garlic, sea salt, and pepper.
  • In a large dutch oven, brown all sides of the pork in the olive oil on medium-high heat. (I usually have to do this in two batches.)
  • Then add the chicken broth and water to the pork and bring to a boil.
  • As soon as it comes to a boil, turn the heat to simmer (low) and cover with a tight fitting lid.
  • Simmer for about 2 hours, until the pork easily falls apart.
  • Remove the lid and remove 1/2 cup of the juices and set aside.
  • Discard almost all the rest of the juices, while just leaving enough to coat the bottom of the pan.
  • On medium heat, allow the pork to caramelize on the bottom of the pan.
  • Once the pan is dry and the meat is stuck to the bottom of the pan (yes, this is a good thing!), add your reserved juices to the meat and scrape the meat off the bottom of the pan…along with all the blackened flavor bits! (This is what makes it taste so good!)
  • I usually add a little more salt (to taste) and shred the meat.
  • You can squeeze a lime over the meat and serve with warm tortillas.
  • Garnish with cilantro and avocados.

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