Simply Carnitas {tacos 2-ways}

by Lauren


These carnitas have been a long-time coming. Chris asks for them every time I ask what he wants for dinner. Had I realized how simple they were I would’ve appeased him long ago!

Not only are these a one-pot wonder – you just need a couple of hours around the house to watch them – but they also have so few ingredients! It’s also an extremely inexpensive meat to buy. I call that a win-win-win.

carnitas 2

Add another win on there because they can be enjoyed for dinner and then they just keep giving with the leftovers. We made the most fantastic breakfast tacos the next day. I drizzled some of the residual slaw dressing over the top with a sprinkling of fresh cilantro. Perfection.

If you have a few hours on your hands this weekend, I highly recommend giving these a try. I borrowed the cooking method from Smitten Kitchen since it was my first attempt and I don’t think I need to come up with my own way of doing this. She nailed it!

carnitas 4

If you’re looking a slow cooked weekend project, this is it. Then invite some friends over and have a carnitas party. Your kitchen will smell fantastic and your neighbors will be inviting themselves in anyways.

While this recipe is 4-5 servings, you can easily double it for large group. Oh, and don’t you dare forget the toppings!

carnitas 5

Simply Carnitas

Cooking method by Smitten Kitchen


2 1/2 lbs. pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lime juice
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt

Serve with avocado, lime wedges, cilantro, cabbage slaw, and corn tortillas.


Place the pork in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot with the remaining ingredients. Pour in enough water to barely cover the meat. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for two hours uncovered, without moving the meat around.

After it has simmered for two hours, increase the heat to medium-high to reduce the liquid. Occasionally stirring and turning the pieces of meat. Continue until almost all of the liquid has evaporated, about 45 minutes. There will be residual fat in the pan. Let the meat brown slightly to crisp up the edges.

Carnitas #1 Serve on corn tortillas with your favorite toppings (see above for ideas). I made slaw and used the leftover dressing as a sauce – delicious!

Carnitas #2 Add scrambled eggs to your carnitas for breakfast the next day! Also tasty with that left over dressing drizzled over the top.


From the Little Yellow Kitchen,


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One Comment to “Simply Carnitas {tacos 2-ways}”

  1. This looks amazing Lauren! I know a certain bf who would love these tacos 😉 thanks for another great recipe!