Authentic Carnitas

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READY IN: 10hrs 20mins
Recipe by donnaarch

This recipe is from my sister-in-law who is a fabulous Mexican cook. Don't let the number of ingredient and directions fool you - this is simple and fabulous. It takes all day to cook (in the oven by 7:30 a.m.), but you can leave it and come back hours later. It's perfect for a large get together on a budget. Serve with tortillas, salsa, cheese, guacamole, sour cream, rice and beans. I have posted a great Spanish rice recipe as well - "Easy Spanish rice" - also my sister-in-laws.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 8 lbs pork shoulder (bone-in)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 12 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 13-12 cup new mexico chile powder (3/4 - 1 chili envelope found in Mexican isle at grocery store)
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • 12 cup orange juice


  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
  2. Place pork on a large cutting board.
  3. Slice large holes all around pork. Apprx 4 on top, 4 on bottom, 1 on each of the remaining sides.
  4. Insert a generous amount of garlic in each hole.
  5. Rub all dry ingredients on to pork evenly. The pork should be covered on all sides in the dry mix. Add more cayenne if you want more heat and more salt to taste.
  6. Place pork in 9 x 12 baking dish.
  7. Wrap foil over baking dish so it is completely closed.
  8. Place on bottom rack of oven.
  9. Bake for 7 - 8 hours (if you have time to bake longer it will be that much more tender).
  10. Remove from oven and slightly piece the pork apart.
  11. Remove excess juices, but you do want some for moisture.
  12. Replace foil and cook another 2 hours.
  13. approximately 45 minutes before serving remove foil, tear apart a bit more, turn heat up to 400 and bake.
  14. Shred and serve! Delicious!

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