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    You are in: Home / Recipes / Pork Carnitas Recipe
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    Pork Carnitas

    Pork Carnitas. Photo by Lab Chef

    1/1 Photo of Pork Carnitas

    Total Time:

    Prep Time:

    Cook Time:

    22 hrs

    10 hrs

    12 hrs

    Lab Chef's Note:

    Slow cooked pork carnitas that are loosely based on the traditional method. This recipe makes large quantities, and for a small family can easily provide 3-4 meals. This recipe calls for a lot of fat to be added. If it is not added your carnitas will be very dry.

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    Serves: 18-20



    Units: US | Metric


    1. 1
      PART 1: Place shortening in pan and heat over medium-low heat until the shortening liquefies.
    2. 2
      Remove from the heat and wait 5 minutes, then add the spices (Chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Mix well with a wooden spoon and let cool until the mixture becomes solid again. **Do not refrigerate, the shortening will become too hard to work with later.**.
    3. 3
      Once the mixture is cool and solid, lay out a very large piece of aluminium foil. (enough to wrap around the shoulder at least once). Place the pork shoulder on the foil and rub all the shortening on to the piece of meat. Wrap the foil around the meat tight and then turn over and repeat the wrap with another piece of aluminum foil. Place in baking dish.
    4. 4
      Place in refrigerator overnight.
    5. 5
      Part 2: Place the baking dish in the oven with the tightly wrapped meat and turn oven on to 250 degrees F.
    6. 6
      Cook at this temperature for 10-12 hours (aprox 1.5 hours per lb of meat cooked). Internal temperature should be 200 F when finished.
    7. 7
      Remove from oven and let sit on the counter for 30 minutes.
    8. 8
      Cut open the foil and remove the pork. There will be a lot of liquid, **DO NOT DISCARD**.
    9. 9
      On a cutting board or in the baking dish with all the liquid (foil discarded). Take two forks and shred the meat, it should be very easy because the meat should already be falling apart. Place the meat back into the liquid and mix until all the liquid is absorbed into the meat. This may take a while 30-60 minutes.
    10. 10
      Once the meat and liquid are together and the meat is mostly cooled, it can be bagged and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Bag according to meal size.
    11. 11
      Part 3: Thaw meat from the freezer or remove from the refrigerator.
    12. 12
      Preheat oven to 475-500°F.
    13. 13
      Place the pork into a large cast iron skillet and place into the oven for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. It should be dark and crispy on the outsides, and smell outstanding.
    14. 14
      Serve on corn or flour tortillas, with shredded lettuce (cabbage is traditional), cheese, tomatoes.

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    Nutritional Facts for Pork Carnitas

    Serving Size: 1 (165 g)

    Servings Per Recipe: 18

    Amount Per Serving
    % Daily Value
    Calories 469.0
    Calories from Fat 337
    Total Fat 37.5 g
    Saturated Fat 12.4 g
    Cholesterol 125.2 mg
    Sodium 509.8 mg
    Total Carbohydrate 0.4 g
    Dietary Fiber 0.2 g
    Sugars 0.0 g
    Protein 30.4 g

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