Carnitas are one of my favorite things to eat. There are many carnitas recipes that are basically braised in a liquid. This is a more traditional recipe where the meat is slow cooked or confit in lard. Very indulgent but incredibly delicious. Perfect for tacos that are paired with a bright salsa verde, pickled onions and lime. If you have the time I recommend seasoning the pork with salt the day before for the juiciest and crispiest carnitas ever! I used a combination of pork shoulder and belly but pork shoulder alone works great. First we slow cook the meat until tender and then we remove the pork and strain some of the fat so we can fry it until crispy.

Prep time: 10 minutes or overnight is seasoning the day before

Cook time: 3.5 hours

Serves: 2-4

Equipment:

Dutch oven or deep oven safe pot

Another pan for frying

Tray with a rack to receive pork after frying

Tongs or slotted spoon

Ingredients

  • 2 lb pork shoulder and belly, cubed
  • 4 oranges, sliced
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 bunch of thyme
  • 8 grams of salt
  • 3 cups of pork lard
  • 2 Tbsp of Masa Mole

Steps

  1. Season pork with salt and Masa Mole, preferably the day before
  2. Preheat oven to 325F
  3. Add all of the ingredients to a pot and make sure the pork is submerged in the lard
  4. Baka for 3 hours or until tender
  5. Remove the pork from the pot and strain about a 1/2 cup of the lard
  6. Heat the lard in a frying pan, when hot add the pork in batches
  7. Fry until crispy on both sides and remove to a tray with a rack
  8. Season with salt while the pork is still hot
  9. Serve with tortillas, lime, pickled onion and salsa

Things to remember

  • While seasoning the pork the day before isn’t necessary for delicious carnitas it does make a difference resulting in very moist and succulent pork
  • When straining the lard before frying, I recommend using a fine mesh strainer so little particle do not go into the frying pan and burn.
  • Keep the lard for the next time you make carnitas or you can use it as an infused cooking oil to roast potatoes, spread on toast or many other ideas.