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+ servings

Shredded Pork Carnitas

This is a bone-on pork roast, so take that in to account when you are trying to calculate servings.  The bone give it more flavor when cooked.
Course Main Course, Pork
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 45 minutes
Servings 6 Servings



  • 4 pounds pork shoulder bone in
  • 1 white onion sliced in half
  • 4-6 large cloves garlic
  • 1 carrot cut in half
  • 1 stalk celery cut in half
  • small handful of cilantro
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 jalapeno or 2 serranos split in half
  • water
  • salt to taste

You will also need

  • juice of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile de arbol powder or 2 chile de arbol crushed
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • salt to taste.
  • 2-3 tablespoons pork manteca lard or bacon grease



  • Add pork and remaining ingredients to a large pot, cover with water. Season with salt to taste and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and continue cooking, mostly covered for 4 hours. Skim foam off the top as needed and turn as needed. After liquid reduces halfway through cooking time, add enough water to just cover pork and continue cooking. 
  • Remove pork from hot stock. Let cool slightly and then remove the meat from the bone. Transfer to a storage container and cover with just enough pork stock to cover the meat. Let cool at room temperature. Skim the fat off the remaining pork stock. Strain out the solids and discard. Once cooled you can freeze the stock for future recipes.
  • To finish shredded carnitas, add pork with stock to pot and bring to a boil, reduce heat and continue cooking, stirring as needed until liquid reduces by 3/4. Add juice of 1 lemon, 1 orange, chile de arbol powder, garlic powder, pepper and salt to taste. Reduce until all the liquid has evaporated. 
  • Add 2 full tablespoons of manteca and cook on high heat to crisp and brown the pork. Shred with two forks if needed.


For less stress, cook the pork in your slow cooker over night with plenty of water. Follow instructions as listed to finish the carnitas. If you have a pressure cooker, even better! Slice the pork into 4 sections and sear for 5 minutes per side in preheated oil. Transfer all the ingredients to the pressure cooker. Follow instructions that come with your cooker. Once it begins cooking under high pressure, reduce heat slightly and set timer for 1 hour. Once it is ready to open, follow instructions for frying the pork for carnitas in another skillet.