Super Clean Pork Carnitas

Raw Pork Butt

Super Clean Pork Carnitas

  • Prep Time: 25 min
  • Cooking Time: 3 hours
  • Serves 6-8

Carnitas is so easy and delicious, I promise this will become one of your weekly staples! Carnitas means, “little meats” but the complex flavor is anything but. Get ready for shredded, Mexican-style pork that’s so tender and full of savory goodness, I often find myself eating it cold right out of the tupperware. I like to eat carnitas in a bowl with chopped cabbage, cilantro, salsa verde, avocados, and a lime wedge. My husband likes to make tacos or burritos out of them. Either way, be prepared for the entire batch disappearing in a couple of days.


  • Pork Butt, fat trimmed and cubed (source your meat from a responsible local farm if you can!)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 6 strips of orange zest
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1-2 tsp brown sugar or honey (optional)
  • 1-2 tsp red pepper flakes (less if you don’t like spicy stuff)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • Water

Pork Butt

Cut the pork butt into rough cubes, trimming and discarding all of the large pieces of fat. Put the cubes into a large dutch oven.

Pork Recipe Cubes

Add all of the other ingredients and fill with enough water until everything is covered by an inch or two.

Carnitas Prep

Bring the mix to a boil, then lower heat and simmer uncovered for around 2 hours. At the 2 hour mark, there should still be a good amount of liquid in with the meat. If not, you can add some more water as it cooks. Fish out the cinnamon stick, zest, and bay leaves.

Turn the heat up until you get a hard boil and boil for around 45 min to an hour or until the pork falls apart and all the liquid is absorbed. Cook it down as far as you want. If you continue to cook it past the point when all the liquid is absorbed, it starts to fry and get kinda crispy. Oh man.

Finished Carnitas

Done! Post a pic of you enjoying your carnitas on my Facebook or Instagram!


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