Juicy, Flavorful Carnitas (No Lard)

"Growing up in Los Angeles, I loved the delicious authentic Mexican cuisine. Carnitas has always been one of my favorite dishes and unfortunately, you just don't get the same quality carnitas in Portland that you would in Los Angeles. So, I thought I would share my recipe for delicious, mouth-watering carnitas. It's not quite authentic or traditional Mexican style carnitas since I slow cook instead of lard fry the meat, but I hope you'll appreciate the health benefits. :D This recipe makes a huge quantity so you can use the meat in a variety of ways. Fantastic in enchiladas, tacos, spaghetti sauce, or just served plain with rice."
photo by J Wong photo by J Wong
photo by J Wong
Ready In:
5hrs 30mins
1 16


  • 8 lbs pork shoulder
  • 2 white onions (diced)
  • 12 lb of finely chopped cilantro (1 bunch)
  • 3 (12 ounce) bottles beer (Corona Light or whatever is in the fridge)
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 4 tablespoons bouillon (Better than Bouillon Beef)
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons ground oregano
  • 2 tablespoons ground thyme
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil


  • Trim large chunks of fat from the pork shoulder, but leave some fat on for flavor.
  • Cut pork shoulder into large chunks. I usually cut them to about half the size of my fist.
  • In a large pot, add the oil to the bottom of the pan and brown the pork. Add in the ground herbs while browning the pork.
  • Once pork is browned, add the first bottle of beer. Using a wooden or silicone spoon, scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen the delicious browned bits.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the pot(reserve half of the cilantro for later), cover and slow cook for 3-4 hours on low heat or until pork is tender and falling apart.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Remove pork from pot and place into a foil-lined, large baking pan. DO NOT discard the liquid stock.
  • Turn the pot with the liquid stock to high heat to reduce the amount of liquid.
  • Using two forks, shred the pork in the pan completely.
  • Add in reserve cilantro.
  • Pour enough of the liquid stock into the pan to halfway cover the pork. Return pot to heat. Place pork in oven.
  • Check pork every 15 minutes or so, turning gently and adding liquid stock until all the stock has been used.
  • Remove pork from oven when there is almost no liquid left in the pan.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Questions & Replies

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  1. I cooked it exactly like your recipe and it really tasted bland - I had a package of fajita mix and added that and then everyone liked it. Sorry I don't know what I did wrong but the fajita mix definitely improved the flavoring.



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