Slow Cooked Mexican Carnitas

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 12 people
Slow cooked, wonderfully flavoured pork shoulder, cooked until tender, then shredded. Use on tacos, in flautus or taquitos, or try it on sandwiches or pizza!
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  • 3 pounds pork shoulder
  • 7 strips strips orange peel
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 leaves bay
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 1 tsp dried oregano leaves (less if ground oregano)
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt or more, to taste (less if using fine salt)


  • Cut pork should in to chunks (about 1-2 inches), cutting off and discarding any chunks of fat along the way. It's fine to leave a bit of fat on the cubes, just remove the areas of pure fat.
  • Place pork in a large, heavy-bottomed pot on the stove-top. Add enough water to cover the meat by about 2 inches. Heat over medium-high heat until water boils. Allow to boil a minute or so, then turn off the heat. Carefully skim off the fat from the top of the liquid and discard.
  • Add to the pot the orange zest strips, garlic, onion, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, bay leaves, oregano, salt and cloves. Stir to combine. Re-heat liquid to boiling, then reduce heat to medium low to a gentle simmer. Simmer uncovered for 1 1/2 hours, checking a few times near the end of cooking to make sure there is still liquid in the pot (if not, add a bit).
  • After 1 1/2 hours, REMOVE AND DISCARD BAY LEAVES, then use a fork or potato masher to break apart/shred the chunks of pork. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for an additional 30 minutes, or until almost all the liquid has evaporated.
  • Use immediately, or refrigerate or freeze for later use.
  • You can use the Carnitas "as is", or crisp it up in a skillet with a little oil over medium-high heat before using.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 110kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 346mg | Potassium: 262mg | Vitamin A: 60IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg