Recipe: Carnitas


'Carnitas' means 'little meats' and that's exactly what this dish creates, the crispiest most succulent pork in the world to have shredded up with homemade pickle, salsa and jalapeños on a flat tortilla! Pork shoulder is braised for three hours then grilled off in all its juices. The flavour of each bite is an explosion.


For The Pork

  • 1.5 kg pork shoulder
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs oregano
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 orange
  • 250 g lard

For The Pickle

  • 2 red onions
  • 4 limes
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp caster sugar

For The Salsa

  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 bunch coriander

To Finish

  • 2 fresh jalapeño peppers

To Finish

  • 1/2 bunch coriander
  • 1 lime
  • 12 small flour tortillas
Preheat the Oven

Step 1

Preheat The Oven

Preheat the oven to 140ºC.

Cook the Pork

Step 2

Cook The Pork

Cut the pork shoulder into large cubes (about 5x5cm). Place it into a bowl with the garlic, bay leaf, oregano, cinnamon and cloves. Cut the orange into quarters and squeeze over the juice. Throw the orange quarters in too. Season and toss everything together then transfer to a medium saucepan, small enough so that the pork fits tightly together. Use a microwave to melt the lard and pour it over the pork until it’s just covered, then place a lid on the pan. Cook in the oven for 3 hours, until the meat is very tender and falls apart easily.

Make the Pickled Onions

Step 3

Make The Pickled Onions

Peel and slice the onions. Transfer to a small bowl. Boil a kettle of water and pour it over the onions. Blanch for 30 seconds, then drain, return to the bowl and squeeze over the lime juice. Add the salt and the sugar, stir and leave in the fridge for a few hours.

Tear up the Pork

Step 4

Tear Up The Pork

Preheat the grill to high. Remove the pork from the pan and tear into chunks. Place it onto a baking tray. Remove the garlic, herbs, spices and orange from the pan. Drain the liquid and skim the fat. Drizzle 3-4 tablespoons of the fat back over the pork.

Reduce the Cooking Liquid

Step 5

Reduce The Cooking Liquid

Pour 3-4 tablespoons of the liquid into a small saucepan and put it over a high heat. Reduce by about a third, remove from the heat then deseed and dice the tomatoes, finely chop the coriander and add both to the pan.

Prepare the Garnishes

Step 6

Prepare The Garnishes

Drain the liquid from the onions just before serving. Slice the jalapeños. Finely chop the remaining coriander and cut the limes into eighths.

Grill the Pork

Step 7

Grill The Pork

Grill the pork for a few minutes, until it’s bubbling and is beginning to get golden, crispy edges. Get a dry frying pan really hot and toast the tortillas for 30 seconds each side, until they blacken in places, then wrap in a clean tea towel while you repeat for the rest.

Assemble and Serve

Step 8

Assemble And Serve

Assemble the tacos, adding the pork, salsa, onions and jalapeños to the tortillas. Top with a little coriander and serve with a lime wedge. Serves 4-6

Hungry for more? Try one of these!