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Carnitas de Puerco - Pork Carnitas

Carnitas de puerco are chunks of pork that are slowly fried until they are meltingly tender on the inside and crispy on the outside.
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 5 people


  • 2 1/2 lbs. pork shoulder - Lightly trimmed, then cut into 2-3 inch cubes
  • 3 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 lb. lard
  • 1 large orange - Cut into large chunks. Leave the rind on.
  • 1/2 large white onion - Peeled and cut into large chunks.
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup Coca-Cola - Mexican Coke is better, but if you can't find it, regular will suffice.
  • 5 large garlic cloves - peeled and smashed
  • 2 bay leaves


  • At least 2 hours, and as much as 4 hours before cooking, evenly sprinkle the 3 teaspoons of kosher salt over the pork, place in a bowl, cover, and put in the refrigerator. Remove from refrigerator about 30 minutes before cooking.
  • In a large dutch oven, preheat the lard over medium-low heat for at least 10 minutes.
  • Add the pork chunks, leaving as much space as possible between each piece. Your heat should be just high enough that the oil is gently bubbling around the meat. It should not be at a fast fry.
  • Cook undisturbed for 30 minutes. Flip, then cook the opposite side for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Add the balance of your ingredients, reduce the heat to a slow simmer, cover, and cook for an additional 1 1/2 hours.
  • Remove the pork pieces to a paper-towel-lined plate and let cool for about 5 minutes. Break apart the pork chunks with a fork as you serve them.   
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