Pork Shoulder Carnitas is made by adding all the ingredients to a dutch oven, baking it in the oven for a couple of hours, then crisping it up in a pan.
This Carnitas is very versatile. You can use it for tacos, quesadillas, burritos, a rice bowl, or nachos. I like to add any leftovers to my eggs in the morning 🙂
Don't know what to serve with your carnitas? Check out these 13 delicious Mexican sides that will pair perfectly with whatever you make!
Boneless Pork Shoulder: Also called Boston Butt, make sure to trim the excess fat before cooking
Salt: brings out the flavors
Black Pepper: seasons the meat
Onion: flavors the meat while cooking
Jalapeno: adds flavor to the carnitas, but it doesn't add any spice
Garlic: flavors the meat while cooking
Orange Juice: helps to tenderize the pork and keep it moist
Oregano & Cumin: seasons the meat
Neutral Oil: used to crisp up the carnitas after it's done cooking
🔪 How to Make Dutch Oven Carnitas
1. Mix: Add all of the ingredients ( except for the oil) to a large dutch oven. Mix everything together.
2. Cook: Place the lid on the dutch oven and put it in the oven for 2 to 2 ½ hours or until the meat is very tender.
3. Shred: Once the meat is tender, remove the pork chunks from the dutch oven and dispose of the leftover liquid.
4. Crisp: To crisp the carnitas, heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 teaspoons of oil. Working in batches, fry the meat in the skillet until the edges begin to brown and crisp up. Add more oil as needed.
🥡 How to Store
Only pan-fry the meat you intend on eating right away. Store any extra in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Pork shoulder is a fatty piece of meat. Trim off the large fat cap from the shoulder before cooking.
You can freeze any leftovers for up to 3 months. You can also use the meat for enchiladas, tacos, quesadillas, or add them to your eggs 🙂
Dutch Oven Carnitas (Pork Shoulder)
- 2 - 2.5 lb boneless pork shoulder fat trimmed
- 1 onion diced
- 2 jalapenos deseeded and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- ½ cup orange juice
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil
- Adjust racks in your oven to accommodate the dutch oven (or remove the top rack if needed). Preheat the oven to 300F.
- Cut your pork shoulder into 1.5 to 2-inch pieces.
- Add and mix together all of your ingredients, except for the oil, in the dutch oven.
- Place the lid on your dutch oven and cook in the oven for 2-2.5 hours or until the meat is very tender.
- Once the meat is tender, remove the pork chunks and dispose of the leftover liquid.
- Shred the carnitas with a fork. Store any meat you will not be eating in an air-tight container in the fridge.
- To crisp the carnitas: heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 teaspoons of oil. Working in batches, fry the meat in the skillet until the edges begin to brown and crisp up. Add more oil as needed.