Delicious melt in your mouth pork slow cooked, these Carnitas are an amazing authentic Mexican dish. If you love pork, you have to try this!

I absolutely love Mexican food, it’s become my new obsession. And pork will always be my number one choice of meat.  Now I’ll be the first person to use a packet mix to season my fajitas for a quick and easy dinner (it’s one of my guilty pleasures); but you would be kidding yourself if you considered that authentic Mexican food. So I started branching out using different chilli powders but came a little bit stuck when it came to looking for authentic Mexican recipes. A lot of them I came across seemed to be mixing different tins and spice mixes together which I’m sure can taste nice, but it wasn’t really what I was looking for.

For Christmas I asked for a book which I had read was meant to be one of the best for authentic Mexican dishes – Mexican The Cookbook by Margarita Carrillo Arrote. It is a huge booked filled with different recipes from all over Mexico. Some of the ingredients aren’t going to be the easiest to come across, or may not necessarily appeal to you – grasshoppers and cactus anyone? You can find substitutes or similar alternatives for a number of ingredients though; for example the variety of fresh chillies aren’t readily available in the UK (well not where I live anyway!) so instead you can use dried chilles or chilli powders. 

I really like watching Food Network; it is normally on in the background while I am writing blog posts. One program I like to watch is Diners Drive-ins and Dives (anyone else?) which is an American chef who visits restaurants around the country. I first heard of carnitas watching the program and thinking it looked delicious so I couldn’t wait to try it myself. People may think that Mexican food is all about spices and heat, but this recipe is far from that. It has no chillis in at all, instead has a delicious combination of herbs with a subtle orange flavour.

This recipe doesn’t require much effort at all but benefits from slow and low cooking which is perfect for a lazy weekend. This recipe definitely lived up to my high expectations! The pork was so deliciously tender it just fell apart. I like to serve Carnitas in tortillas with my Mexican Sweetcorn Salad which added a little bit of chilli heat.

Carnitas aren’t the healthiest of meals but their taste allows you to forgive them for the amount of oil they are cooked in! I have tweaked the recipe slightly by using my favourite herbs and adding some orange juice; but this is still a delicious and authentic Mexican recipe. Carnitas are a favourite recipe in my family and it is a dish I like to make as part of a Mexican feast! This is definitely a recipe I would recommend trying!

5 from 3 votes


Delicious melt in your mouth pork slow cooked, these Carnitas are an amazing authentic Mexican dish. If you love pork, you have to try this!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Mexican, Carnitas, Tacos
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 937 kcal
Author Curly


  • 250 ml vegetable oil
  • 1.5 kg pork shoulder cubed
  • ½ onion
  • 250 ml semi skimmed milk
  • 250 ml water
  • 1 orange zested
  • ½ orange juice
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • Flour or corn tortillas to serve
  • couple of rosemary & thyme stalks


  1. Heat the oil in a large pan on a medium heat. Add the meat and the onion and cook, stirring occasionally for about 8 minutes until browned all over

  2. Remove the onion and pour in the milk and water. Add the herbs and orange zest and season with salt and pepper. Don’t worry it will look a little bit strange at this stage!

  3. Reduce the heat to low and cook stirring occasionally for 1½ to 2 hours until the liquid has evaporated. Make sure the pork doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan as the liquid reduces 

  4. Remove any herb stalks and serve immediately 

Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 937 Calories from Fat 720
% Daily Value*
Fat 80g123%
Saturated Fat 57g356%
Cholesterol 158mg53%
Sodium 788mg34%
Potassium 976mg28%
Carbohydrates 10g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 47g94%
Vitamin A 190IU4%
Vitamin C 29mg35%
Calcium 130mg13%
Iron 2.8mg16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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7 thoughts on “Carnitas

  1. Pingback: Chorizo & Potato Quesadillas – Curly's Cooking

  2. Corina Blum

    These look delicious! I’ve seen carnitas online before but haven’t tried them yet. However, I happen to have that exact same cookbook sitting on my shelves so not only do I now need to try making carnitas, I need to get it out again and try some more Mexican recipes, although possibly not the ones with grasshoppers in!

    1. Curly Post author

      Oh great! I’ve only tweaked it slightly from the original recipe. They really are worth the time to make them. So tasty!

  3. Michelle Frank | Flipped-Out Food

    I think we must be sisters who were separated at birth. 1) I ALWAYS have Food Network on in the background (if the hubster isn’t home: it drives him crazy after a while). 2) I LOVE PORK. 3) EQUAL EMPHASIS FOR MEXICAN FOOD. Carnitas hold an especially near-and-dear place in my heart. I love the inclusion of the orange zest in your version!

  4. Pingback: #CookBlogShare Week #41 Plus 4 Meaty Mains - Everyday Healthy Recipes

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