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Dominik and I love carnitas. Carnitas is a slow cooked and crispy-ish pork with lots of flavor that you find quite a bit in Mexican cuisine. It is easy to make and I had to go digging on the old travel blog (visit here if you’re new and want a good laugh) to find my old recipe. The recipe originally came from this site, so feel free to visit the original there if you would like. Mine is a bit simpler (and less wordy).


  • 3 lbs pork chunk (kidding, sort-of). The original recipe recommends pork butt. We bought pork shoulder. Buy whatever you can find, but you do want some fat on it.
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 3 cups water
  • salt
  • extra cooking fat if your cut is a bit lean (animal fat works best: bacon grease, lard, tallow, schmalz, etc.)


  • Cut your pork into strips ¾ in to 1 in wide. Don’t cut off any fat. You will need the fat to keep it moist. If it is pretty dry you can add in a bit of bacon grease (or other animal fat) if you have it.
  • Place them in a pot, add two teaspoons of salt, the orange juice, and cover with water.
  • Bring to an easy boil then reduce to a simmer. Leave it simmering (alone and uncovered) for two hours. You don’t need to stir. (If it forms a foam that is normal and you can just scoop it off with a spoon.)
  • After the two hours turn it up to medium high and boil away the liquid. This will take around 30-45 minutes. Sir every now and then to prevent sticking. Mine still stuck a bit to the bottom. The meat will get really nice, crispy, and golden brown on the outside. You can add a bit more salt before all the liquid is gone if you need it. 

Serve with warm tortillas, on lettuce for a nice salad, or or even as lettuce wraps like we did. We topped them with tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, spring onions, and cucumbers and had carrot sticks on the side.

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