Posted October 16, 2006 by Nick Lindauer in Recipes

How to Make: Carnitas

My love affair with tacos is well known – I’ve hunted them down here in NYC, made them with carne asada and even turned Cheffy on to the joys of taco carts in TX. Carnitas have always been my favorite taco variety, but a good carnita taco is hard to find. So this Sunday, while flipping through my Some Like It Hot Cookbook, I stumbled upon a recipe for carnitas and I was sold.

This absolutely delicious crisp-on-the-outside, succulent-on-the-inside pork dish is traditionally made from the thick meaty cut called pork country ribs or from pork butt. The final result is a small piece of meat that is orange-tinged from chipotle chiles in adobo, soft and succulent from hours of stewing in a flavorful broth and crispy on the outside after roasting in a hot oven. Carnitas can be eaten as is or wrapped in tortillas with guacamole, black beans and/or white rice.


  • One 7lb pork butt, cut into 10 large chunks
  • 1 very large onion, quartered
  • 5 chipotle chiles in adobo, seeded & chopped, plus 3 tablespoons adobo sauce from the can
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 to 3 quarts low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

How to Make Carnitas

Step 1:
Place the pork in a large stockpot. Add all the remaining ingredients, except the vegetable oil. If the pork is not covered with liquid, add more chicken broth. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, uncover, and simmer until the meat pulls apart easily with a fork, about 3 hours. Remove the pork from the broth with a slotted spoon and place on a platter. Allow to cool, then cut into 1 inch cubes.

How to Make Carnitas

How to Make Carnitas
After 3 hours

Step 2:
Preheat the oven to 450F. Place the vegetable oil in a baking dish. Toss in the pork, and then roast in the oven, uncovered, until lightly browned and sizzling, about 30 minutes. Remove and serve.

How to Make Carnitas
Mmmm carnitas…

How to Make Carnitas
Naked tacos

How to Make Carnitas
Dressed up tacos w/ homemade guacamole

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Nick Lindauer

The Original Hot Sauce Blog