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4 pounds of carnitas Easy
Total: Active:
6 Ratings 

Ingredients (9)

  • 1 4-5 lb. bone-in pork shoulder or Boston butt
  • 2 large onions, peeled and quartered
  • 4 stalks of celery, chopped coarsely
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed with the knife
  • 2 bay leaves (use fresh ones if you can find them)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of salt, approximately
  • 1/2 cup of whole milk
  • enough water to cover roast, about 3 quarts
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This is authentic carnitas (shredded Mexican pork) with lots of flavor and very little effort. Yes, it does take time but most of the time is in the cooking.

Use the pork roast with the bone, which provides extra depth of flavor. The trick is reducing the juices after you roast the meat and adding them back in at the last step.

I had this recently at a cook-out and we just couldn’t get enough. Be sure to have plenty of corn tortillas, chopped red onion, limes and cilantro to top off your taco. This is the real deal. It’s like you have the world’s best taco truck parked in your kitchen!


  1. 1Rinse pork and put it in a 6 to 8 quart Dutch oven, or other pot with a tight fitting lid. You can do this in your crockpot if it’s big enough.
  2. 2Add onions, celery, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, salt and enough water to cover meat, about 3 quarts.
  3. 3Cover with a tight fitting lid and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce to low heat and simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. You can also put it in the oven at about 225 degrees for the same amount of time. You want it tender enough to fall off the bone, but not to become mushy.
  4. 4Transfer cooked pork to a baking pan and reserve the cooking juices. Shred the pork by hand or with a fork, and lay it evenly across the pan. Discard bone and any large pieces of fat or skin.
  5. 5Pour the milk over the pork and roast it in the oven at 325 degrees until the drippings are browned, scraping pan occasionally.
  6. 6Meanwhile, strain the reserved juices through a strainer into a sauce pan, and discard solids. Skim and discard fat. Boil over medium high heat to reduce the liquid to about 2 cups. This will take about 45 minutes.
  7. 7When the pork/milk are starting to brown, add the reduced juices back to the meat, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring and breaking the meat into smaller pieces. Allow the meat to continue to brown, repeatedly adding the juices to the meat bit by bit until done, the drippings mostly evaporated, and the meat is browned and crispy. Salt at the end to taste.
  8. 8You can do all of this the day ahead, and just heat up the meat in a skillet before serving. Make small tacos out of the meat using corn tortillas and add chopped red onions, cilantro and plenty of lime juice.
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