Carnitas is one of those dishes where most people will be shocked that you can make a killer version at home. It’s up to you if you want to tell them how shockingly easy it is to make — minimal prep! one pot! — and how affordable it is as a meat-centered main dish. Pork shoulder is a relatively inexpensive cut of pork and is usually well-marbled. Braised slowly in chicken stock infused with oranges, limes, garlic, and tequila, it finishes off by frying briefly in its own fat that slowly rendered during the braise. The only caveat is that it takes a long time to cook, but the results are so worth it. This is going to become one of your go-to recipes just for home meals.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
5 from 1 vote
Serves 20 people


  • 5 pounds boneless pork shoulder
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 3 large oranges
  • 4 medium limes
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup tequila


  • Cut pork shoulder into small chunks, about 2" x 4".
  • Squeeze the juice from the oranges and limes into a bowl.
  • Place pork in a wide metal pot oven along with the cloves of garlic. Add the orange and lime juices. Add the chicken stock so that the pork is just covered (a few chunks sticking out is fine). Add sea salt.
  • Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for about two hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Uncover and let boil down for about 30 minutes until liquid is reduced by half, stirring occasionally.
  • Add tequila and increase heat to medium, continuing to let boil down until the liquid has boiled off and the pork is now starting to fry a bit in its own fat. Allow small chunks to brown on the bottom of the pan, careful not to let them burn. Scrape up browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a metal spatula and gently stir them in.
  • When the liquid has boiled off but while the meat is still moist and some of it has gotten crispy, remove from heat. Add salt to taste if desired.
  • If you're going to the party right away, you can just cover the pot and bring it as-is so that the meat stays warm and moist. If you're going later that day or the next day, you can store the meat in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat it in a covered dish before you bring it to the party, to let the fat melt again. Once it's been reheated, it will taste great at room temperature; it's even better if you can keep it warm until the party.


Calories: 174kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 425mg | Potassium: 523mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 51IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg

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