These Pork Carnitas are slow cooked in lard and bacon fat with garlic, onion, oranges, lemons and spices until super tender. They are then broiled until crispy.
The resulting flavor is to die for. Seriously.
And yes, the pork is cooked in a huge amount of fat. It literally swims in it.
But it all gets discarded after the pork is cooked through and it leaves the pork wonderfully flavored and tender.
If you can find fresh lard, which is very difficult to find, then use it. If not, the shelf-stable kind will work. It has stuff added to it and the flavor is not as good as fresh lard, but for something like carnitas that have so many other flavors going on, I think it’s totally suitable. You can find it by the cooking oils in some grocery stores or you can order it online.
Pork Carnitas can be used as a base for all types of Mexican foods. I like to serve Pork Carnitas in flour tortillas with Fire-Roasted Salsa, fresh cilantro, and avocado.
Pork Carnitas are so tender and juicy with wonderful crispy bits. You need this for your dinner. And your family will be fighting over the leftovers.
- 3 pound boneless pork butt (you can also use a bone-in pork butt but it will be more like 6 pounds), cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 onion, peeled and quartered
- ½ orange, cut into 4 pieces
- 1 lime, quartered
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1½ teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ cup bacon fat
- 1 cup lard
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
- Place pork pieces in a 9X13-inch pan.
- Scatter onion, orange, lime, and garlic over pork.
- Sprinkle seasonings on top.
- Drizzle with bacon fat.
- Use a large spoon to stir the pork around and get the seasonings distributed.
- Using a spoon, drop spoonfuls of lard evenly on top of pork.
- Cover with aluminum foil and cook 5 hours. (Place pan on baking sheet in case any liquid leaks over.)
- Use a slotted spoon to remove meat and place on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil.
- Place under broiler for 5 minutes or until crispy.
Adapted from A Family Feast
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