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recipe for pork carnitas

Pork Carnitas Recipe

  • Author: Deborah Harroun
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 40 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hours 50 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Mexican


Great food doesn’t have to be complicated – this Pork Carnitas Recipe is so simple but it will blow your socks off. Serve the carnitas in tacos, burritos, enchiladas, or however your heart desires!



  • 3 lbs fatty pork shoulder or butt, skin and bone removed
  • cold water
  • 2 teaspoons salt


  1. Cut the meat into strips 2” x 3/4” (make sure you don’t remove/discard the fat). Place the meat into a large pot and barely cover with cold water. Add the salt and bring the water to a boil, uncovered.
  2. Lower the heat to bring the water down to a simmer. Let the meat continue to cook until all of the water has evaporated, about 1 1/2 hours, depending on the size/shape of your pan.* The meat should be cooked through at this point, but not falling apart.
  3. Lower the flame a little bit more and continue to cook until all of the fat has rendered from the pork, turning the meat occasionally until all sides are browned, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
  4. Serve the pork in tacos, enchiladas, burritos, or however you’d like!

Recipe Notes:

*The pork will cook faster and more evenly if your pan is large and shallow. It may take longer to cook if your pan is deeper.

Recipe source: Food52 Genius Recipes

Nutrition information provided as an estimate only. Various brands and products can change the counts. Any nutritional information should only be used as a general guideline.


  • Serving Size: 1/8 of recipe
  • Calories: 316
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 685 mg
  • Fat: 21 g
  • Saturated Fat: 7 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 12 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 30 g
  • Cholesterol: 106 mg

Keywords: pork carnitas, carnitas recipe