Pork Carnitas Recipe (Mexican Pulled Pork)

5 from 17 reviews

Braised and broiled to crispy and tender perfection, this Mexican Pulled Pork will quickly become a family favorite dinner. These pork carnitas are a hands-down winner.

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 45 mins
  • Total Time: 3 hours 5 mins

Yield: 8


  • 1 (3.5 to 4 lb) boneless pork butt, fat trimmed to 1/8 inch thick, and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 brown onion, peeled and halved
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • table salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 TB juice from 1 fresh lime
  • 1 medium orange, quartered
  • 1820 (6 inch) corn tortillas, warmed
  • Optional garnishes: lime wedges, minced red onion, fresh chopped cilantro, salsa, thinly sliced radish, diced avocado, Tapatio hot sauce


  1. Adjust oven rack to lower middle position. Preheat oven to 300F.
  2. Combine pork, onion, bay leaves, oregano, cumin, garlic, 1 1/2 tsp table salt, 1 tsp pepper, water, and lime juice in a large Dutch oven Liquid should barely be covering the meat. Juice the orange in a bowl and add both the juice and orange remnants to the pot. Bring mixture to simmer over medium high heat, stirring occasionally. Cover pot and transfer to oven. Cook until meat is soft and is fork tender, about 2 1/2 hours, stirring meat around once during cooking.
  3. Remove the pot from oven. Transfer pork to a bowl with slotted spoon. Remove orange halves, onion, and bay leaves from the liquid and discard. Do not skim fat from liquid. Place pot over high heat and simmer liquid, stirring often, about 10-12 min. You should end up with 1 cup of reduced liquid. Turn oven to broil.
  4. Shred pork roughly; not too finely. Fold in the reduced liquid, season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread pork in even layer on rimmed baking sheet. Place sheet on an upper rack and broil until top of meat is well browned but not charred. Edges should be slightly crisp. 5-7 in. Serve immediately with your choice of garnishes and warm corn tortillas.


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  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 183
  • Sugar: 4.3 g
  • Sodium: 218 mg
  • Fat: 4.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 9.5 g
  • Protein: 25.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 75.4 mg
  • Author: Chew Out Loud
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Braise
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Keywords: Mexican Pulled Pork, Pork Carnitas, Carnitas Tacos