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    You are in: Home / Recipes / The Best Ever Carnitas Recipe
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    The Best Ever Carnitas

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    Total Time:

    Prep Time:

    Cook Time:

    2 hrs 30 mins

    30 mins

    2 hrs

    Sheri-BDB's Note:

    This is an adopted recipe from Mean Chef. This looks really great to me and can't wait to try it, as I really enjoy Carnitas. Mean Chef word's are: The special ingredient is Pepsi and this is fabulous. you can use carnitas in tortillas, serve like BBQ pork or great at a picinic on rolls. Recipe from Rio Bravo

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    Units: US | Metric

    Fuego spice mix yields 1 cup use 1T

    Agua Negra Marinade yields 3 1/4 cups use 1 cup


    1. 1
      Fuego spice mix (Fuego Spice Mix): Combine all ingredients, mixing well.
    2. 2
      Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
    3. 3
      Agua Negra Marinade (Fuego Spice Mix): combine all ingredients with a whisk.
    4. 4
      Stores in the refrigerator for 2 days.
    5. 5
      Carnitas: Trim away excess fat from pork and cut into 3 inch cubes.
    6. 6
      Dust meat with Fuego spice mix and press to adhere well.
    7. 7
      Squeeze juice from oranges into an airtight nonreactive container, add peels, garlic,pepper, pepsi and Aqua Negra marinade- mix to combine well.
    8. 8
      Add seasoned meat and refrigerate overnight.
    9. 9
      Remove meat from the marinade (reserve marinade) the next day when you are ready to cook.
    10. 10
      Heat oil/shortening in a large heavy skillet over high heat until fat is smoking; add pork and brown completely on all sides- about 15 minutes.
    11. 11
      Add reserved marinade and simmer for about 2 hours or until pork is tender and dark brown- add additional Pepsi as needed while cooking to keep meat covered.
    12. 12
      Remove meat and chop into 3/4 inch pieces.

    Browse Our Top Pork Recipes

    Ratings & Reviews:

    • on February 14, 2011

      This was very good...and I had so much meat left I cleaned it the following day (wearing Nitrile gloves makes this much quicker, easier and efficient...and less yucky!). I took some of the congealed broth, and a pan and heated it up in the skillet until the meat was brown and crispy. It just went from very good to frickin' awesome! I highly recommend this as a make ahead and heat it up in a!

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    • on May 04, 2010


      I was a little skeptical on this recipe, as the ingredients didn't sound right--pineapple juice and soy sauce for carnitas? However, I tried it because I love Mean Chef's recipes. I'm so glad I did! One thing to note when you make this is that the marinade and fuego spice mix actually make WAY more than you need for the 3 lbs of pork. Next time I make this, I plan to use 8-9 lbs of meat & triple the other ingredients in the FIRST section of the recipe so I don't waste anything (and have lots of yummy leftovers to freeze). I also don't plan to coat the meat pieces with seasoning before I marinate. I plan to add most of the spices (reserving some) to the Aqua Negra marinade. Coating them seemed like a waste of time since immediately you throw them in liquid. I will use some of the reserved spices to throw in the oil when I fry the pork before cooking. I HIGHLY recommend this recipe. The layering of flavors is fabulous!

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    • on July 14, 2013


      Excellent recipe. I didn't have pineapple so I substitutued with orange juice. After marinating overnight, I mixed the seasonings in a bag and coated the meat, then fried. I added the fried meat to the crock pot, added the remaining marinade to the pan and scraped up the brown bits. Let this simmer and reduce for about 5 minutes then added it to the crock pot along with enough Pepsi to cover the meat. Cook on low for 8 hours then shredded and served in tortillas with cabbage, cheese, cilantro, and avocado...excellent flavor!

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    Nutritional Facts for The Best Ever Carnitas

    Serving Size: 1 (362 g)

    Servings Per Recipe: 6

    Amount Per Serving
    % Daily Value
    Calories 899.7
    Calories from Fat 583
    Total Fat 64.8 g
    Saturated Fat 16.1 g
    Cholesterol 149.6 mg
    Sodium 5202.6 mg
    Total Carbohydrate 31.2 g
    Dietary Fiber 5.4 g
    Sugars 15.9 g
    Protein 50.6 g

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