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How To Make Pork Carnitas Recipe/Como Hacer Carnitas de Puerco.

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Carnitas are pieces of pork meat slow-cooked in copper cauldrons in an open fire. Usually most parts of the pork will be used, some will be cooked until tender, juicy and golden outside and other parts of the pork will be cooked until very crispy like chicharrones (pork skin). To cook carnitas at home is a very easy task . There are lots of recipes that use herbs, and some of them even add milk or orange rind. And, of course, they can be added. But, as a friend of mine from Quiroga, Michoacán (a small town famous for its carnitas) told me sometime ago: “People here just add salt, lard and the pork meat”. Those carnitas are one of best!  This dish is best eaten when still warm over corn tortillas and a spicy or mild salsa.
I have two ways to cooks carnitas: One is using a cast iron pot over the stove and the other way is baking the pork using an oven bag. The reason of cooking it in an oven bag is because I live in a small apartment and cooking it in the bag will keep the grease smell contained in the bag. Please note that this is not the traditional way to cook Carnitas, but rather just an alternate method I developed in absence of a copper cauldron and to avoid the greasy smell.

This recipe serves 6 as a main dish

INGREDIENTES:
  • 2 Lbs. pork loin and pork butt in large cubes about 2 inches.
  • 1 cup of Lard (vegetable oil is OK)
  • About 6-8 cups of water enough to cover the meat
  • 1 Tablespoon of salt
  • Optional: 3 cloves of garlic

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DIRECTIONS:
1. In a large Dutch oven or Cast Iron Pot place the pork, lard, water, garlic and salt. Cook covered in a medium heat to a boil. Reduce to simmer for about 45 minutes until pork is almost tender.
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2. Uncover and turn the heat over medium high to reduce the liquid.The meat will start frying in its own fat and lard at this point. Carefully brown the meat at medium low heat stirring frequently until pork is evenly browned. About 15 to 20 minutes. At this point do not over cook or you will get very dry meat.
Serve with hot tortillas and green salsa.


Now, when you do not have the time to be watching the meat or have another thing to do here is my oven baked carnitas.

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1. Place the meat, 1/4 cup lard, 1 cup of water and 1 Tablespoon of salt in an Oven Bag, cook in a preheated oven at 350 for 2 hours. I place this package on a baking sheet or glass baking ware.
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2. Take the bag out of the oven to drain must of the juices released by the meat, close the bag and place back in the oven for another hour or so until the meat is golden brown, using this method the meat will be tender and juicy.
carnitas5 Wasn’t that easy? I think so.

What is your favorite way to eat carnitas?




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49 comments:

  1. Mely,
    estas recetas te las voy a ROBAR!!!

    Nunca me atreví a hacer carnitas en la casa, pero ya no tengo mas excusas.

    Que ricura!
    Tlaz

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hola Flavio,

    Ojala te atrevas a hacerlas carnitas, yo le di muchas excusas hasta que un dia me decidi a hacerlas y me di cuenta de lo facil que es hacerlas. Algunas veces tambien le agrego lonja de puerco (pork Belly), a las carnitas que sobran, si es que sobran. Las envaso al vacio y al quedar compactas a los dos dias las saco y saben a chicharron prensado.

    Has comido chicharron prensado?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Mely,
    el chicharrón prensado es muy típico de mi región de Italia (al contrario del verdadero chicharrón mexicano que aquí no acostumbra hacer) y a mi me encanta.
    Por estos rumbos le decimos "greppole" o "ciccioli frolli".

    Ciao!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This looks so moist and flavorful...I am so excited to try this..all of your recipes inspire me..thanks so much.Figtreeapps

    ReplyDelete
  5. MELY, Yo las hago en el sartén de hierro, o en una cazuela más grande de barro. Si le pongo una ramita de tomillo y una cascarita de limón por aquello del olor. Igual que Flavio ya se me antojaron! con una salsa hecha con chiles en vinagre cebolla y cilantro!!!

    Ahora que nos dijiste el secreto de la bolsa pues hay que probar. Pero si huele a rico con sabroso, de qué te preocupas jajaja

    Gracias Mely

    ReplyDelete
  6. Mely:

    El viernes de la semana pasada preparé las carnitas!!! me hicieron recordar mi paìs... :) No vivo en México.

    Ya le pasé la receta a mi hermano :p

    Lupita.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hola Lupita,

    No es tan dificil preparar las carnitas y vale la pena tener una cazuela o olla para su coccion de vez en cuando.

    Muchos saludos a donde quiera que estes.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have had this recipe book marked for a couple of months ... I just made these carnitas .... they are incredible!!! Thank you so much for the recipe!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hello Ginger,

    I am so glad you made them and that you liked them.
    Have a great day!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Excellent recipe, these turn out so tender with that awesome crunchiness on the outside, hands-down the best carnitas recipe out there!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh Mely,
    I always look forward to seeing you here. Your Carnitas recipe is out of this world,it really looks delicious. I can hardly wait to try it and it will be soon. Thank you so much for bringing it to Full Plate Thursday and please come back!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh! My husband would LOVE this!!
    I'm following from the blog hop.
    I'd love a follow back at www.mikaspantry.blogspot.com
    Thanks,
    Mika

    ReplyDelete
  13. Mely, como se compara el sabor de las carnitas cuando se cocinan en el horno en vez del Dutch oven? Cual version prefieres tu?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hola Drea,

    El sabor no cambia lo que cambia un poco es la textura. Son menos crujientes que si las haces en el Dutch Oven.

    La ventaja de hacerlas en el horno es que no tienes que estar al pendiente de la carne a cada rato y si las haces en la bolsa tienes la conveniencia de que la limpieza es mas facil.

    Mucha gracias por visitar el blog.

    Mely

    ReplyDelete
  15. Mely, i have just been converted to your recipe for Carnitas. Que maravilla! I replaced 1/2 cup of orange and lime juice to the cup of water, and used olive oil in place of lard. The cooking method is really easy and maybe a bit healthier?? in any case, the carnitas are delicious. gracias. Roberto

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  16. Hola Roberto,

    I am Glad to know you like them. The Orange juice helps to create the caramel color we love in the carnitas.

    Saludos!

    Mely

    ReplyDelete
  17. I just tried both the stove top and the oven method. I prefer the results of the oven method, minus the bag because i didn't have one. I always wanted to make this, and now i can. Thanks!!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hello Ben,
    Thanks fro stopping by to leave a comment. I am so glad you like the recipe.

    Saludos,

    Mely

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hello from Alaska!! I have prepared your oven method carnitas and it was awesome. I am getting prepared to make it again. I had a choice of being taken out for b-day dinner or stay in. I chose to stay in and make your wonderful carnitas. Thank you for sharing your recipe and method.

    Ginger

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  20. Hello from Alaska! I have prepared carnitas using your oven method and they turned out awesome :) I am cooking them again for my b-day dinner instead of going out. They are that good! Thank you for sharing your recipe and cooking method.

    Ginger

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Ginger,
      Thank to you for your kind comment. Keep enjoying the recipes.

      Mely

      Delete
  21. Hello,

    I always loved carnitas and always wanted to make them at home. Thanks to you I now can. And they are very easy to make even for me who is just beginning to learn. Thank you!

    Yesenia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank for letting me know that the recipe worked fine for you, Yeni.

      I am glad you enjoy it.

      Mely

      Delete
  22. Me encanta carnitas! Tengo un método de concinar en mi pressure cooker...but this way sounds like a great variation!! Always love comida autética...I found your blog via Spain in Iowa...also a new one for me! Nice to 'meet' you!!

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  23. just made these and they were delicious!! went very well with the green salsa and guacamole

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Ryan,

      So happy to know you enjoyed this recipe and the salsa.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Mely

      Delete
  24. I have to tell you that I was alittle hesitant about cooking carnitas at first, because my son in law told me that they were hard to make. I told him today after I finished my first ever carnitas de puerco using your recipe for the oven cooked way,that he was wrong, it was actually quite easy and had my family over to eat, They are still eating and loving it!!!! Thank you so much!!! Delicioso!!! Muchas Gracias!!!
    I will try the other way next time I make them!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Mo,

      Thanks for taking the time to write a comment. I hope you try other recipes on the blog.

      Happy cooking!

      Mely

      Delete
  25. I made this recipe and let me tell you my family loved it! Muchas gracias for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I looked all over the place for your blog.. forgot your on blogger.. Duh...LOL.. I had a hunk of Pork Roast and wanted to make this. Well.. I did my best without the recipe.. Not to bad.. but I really do need to bookmark your site.. Because I LOVE Mexican Food..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad to know it worked out for you Barbara. Happy cooking!

      Delete
  27. Hi, I have a doubt about the meat ( pork loin and pork butt) the recipe is for 2 lbs or 4 lbs?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello,
      It's 2 Lbs total, a combination of pork loin and butt. But you can use only the pork butt if you want.

      Mely

      Delete
  28. hola, antes de ver tu blog y tus recetas, yo hago mis carnitas exactamente igual. yo utilizo una receta de Diana Kennedy, lo cual normalmente es garantia de autenticidad. Lo que realmente me llamo la atencion es tu primer comentario de que al envasarlas al vacio, despues de un par de dias saben a chicharron prensado. Si ese es el caso, me has hecho el dia! Si existe un sabor que extrano en el alma es el chicharron prensado! ya me diste una excusa para hacerme unas carnitas, y con bastante pork belly para que tenga "arto" cuerito...gracias y saludos desde Inglaterra

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hola Jacinto,

      Espero trates la opción de hacer el chicharrón prensado. Eso era tambien algo que yo extrañaba, y por puro accidente descubrí lo del chicharron presado cuando guarde unas carnitas en unas bolsas al vacio. Ya que en realidad el proceso es casi lo mismo. Se prense el chicharrón con mucho cuerito para formar el prensado.

      Saludos y muchos platillos ricos.

      Delete
    2. Hola Mely

      finalmente tuve el tiempo para hacerme mis carnitas....y luego mi chicharron prensado. Wow! Simplemente WOW! Vaya descubrimiento el tuyo. Es realmente increible. Acabo de terminar de cocinarlo. No quiero comerlo de inmediato, solamente lo saboreo de poco a poco como si fuera un sueno. supongo que tu me entiendes. mil gracias por tu descubrimiento. en verdad me haz hecho una persona muy feliz! aunque no tengo el placer de conocerte, te mando muchos muchos besos de agradecimiento.

      Delete
    3. Hola Jacinto,

      Ahora tienes que hacer los chicharrones. :) Pero tienes que tener listas las tortillas calientes y la salsa de pico de gallo. Porque te los quieres comer en cuanto salen. Si los haces, piensa que la piel de puerco se hace chica, asi que compra bastante, esos tambien se conservan bien en el conge.

      Saludos!

      Mely

      Delete
  29. hola mely

    SI! claro que los hice! llevo 3 dias comiendo quesadillas de chicharron prensado y ya se me termino! Me hice mi chicharron usando una receta casera en la que primero pones un jitomate y uno o dos chiles en el comal, luego los mueles con un poco de caldo. Una vez listo ese menjurje, agregas el "pork belly hecho carnitas bien picadas y al vacio" a una olla a fuego medio. cuando el chicharron suelta un poco de grasa, agregas la salsa y dejas que se termine de guisar. Queda listo en unos minutos, y entonces te haces tus quesadillas.

    Ademas, me hice una salsita con jitomates, chiles, ajos, y cebollas asadas en el comal y luego al molcajete. La verdad es que no tiene igual.

    La proxima vez, el chicharron lo voy a preparar con una salsita de guajillo justo en el proceso de el caldo. te cuento como queda

    muchos besos y mil gracias otra vez.

    jacinto

    ReplyDelete
  30. My husband and I lived in Brownsville,Texas 30+ years ago, and your recipes bring back the fresh flavors of the food that I learned to cook then while traveling extensively into Mexico. Sadly, now you can't get these flavors in the states, or along the border due to the additives and preservatives. I've tried several of your recipes, and love the fresh flavors! I've tried the pozole, and carnitas, and can tell you that you can't find these easily along the border anymore. Ironically, my family, and extended family always request that I bring these to gatherings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Kymberly,

      First than all, thank you for taking the time to comment about your experience cooking the recipes. And second, I am sad to hear about how the food has changed at the border. I used to live in McAllen and food across the border was still good many years ago.

      Take care and keep cooking!

      Saludos!

      Mely

      Delete
  31. I love your recipe. It was a winner in my home. I made a small portion but this time I would like to make a larger portion like 15-20lbs using the oven bag method. Do I just add more amount of lard and salt or just stick with the amount for 2lbs? I'm making this for a party this weekend. Thanks you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello,
      Sorry for the late reply. You will need to divide the amount of meat accordingly to the bag size specifications. You will need several bags and also multiply the amount of fat and salt content.

      Happy cooking!

      Delete
  32. After hunting for a Carnita recipe forever. Finally. Thank you so much. Kathy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Kathryn White,

      I glad you like it. Happy cooking!

      Delete
  33. Hola Mely:

    Escribo solo para felicitarte por tu receta de carnitas!!!...

    Mi papa hace las mejores carnitas que e probado en mi vida y la verdad la receta es la misma... por cierto mi papa solo usa sal!!!

    A toda esa gente le recomiendo que se anime a hacerlas, no se van a arrepentir y no crean todas esas recetas falsas de carnitas que la gente inventa... Esta es la mejor y la original.

    Gracias Por Compartir!!!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hola Mely:

    Solo escribo para felicitarte por tu receta de carnitas!!!

    Mi papa hace las mejores carnitas que e probado en mi vida y la verdad la receta es la misma... (solo usa sal)

    Definitivamente voy a checar tus otras recetas!!!

    Gracias por compartir!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hola Maria,

      Gracias por tu comentario y por la confianza. Saludos!

      Delete

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