VIVE Cooking School

Braised Pork Carnitas



10 Min


10 Min






  • 2kg pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ orange, cut in half
  • ¼ cup pork lard or olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


Step 1

Place all ingredients except pork in a cast iron pot or slow cooker on high heat and combine. Add the pork and bring to the boil. Lower heat and simmer, stirring occasionally,  for 1½ – 2 hours or until the pork is tender and falling apart.

Step 2

At this point the liquid should be thick and syrupy. If the liquid hasn’t evaporated enough, transfer the pork to a bowl and reduce until it has reached a sticky consistency, then strain through a fine mesh sieve and reserve. Pull the pork apart with a fork (or with your fingers) and pour over the reduced cooking liquid.

Step 3

Heat lard or olive oil in a cast iron skillet or heavy bottom frying pan and fry the pork for 10-15 minutes. It is best not to stir too much so that the bottom goes a golden crispy brown and the top stays moist and tender. Be careful not to burn the base.

Step 4

Stir the meat around and serve immediately with the Mexican beans. A perfect, cool-weather autumn feast!

Step 5

This beautiful braised pork would also be a fantastic filling for tacos or fajitas.


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