Today we're talking about some seriously amazingly delicious pork...pork carnitas. So tender, so versatile, so flavorful. Am I making you hungry yet? I sure hope so!
I don't know if I have mentioned this before or not, but last year we bought a hog. As in an entire hog in our deep freezer. At first I thought it was a challenge to use so much pork. Then as I got more used to cooking with pork and coming up with more ways to use it, I discovered I really like cooking with pork. There are so many things you can do with it... like make amazing pork carnitas.
In fact, I used our last cuts of pork shoulder to make these carnitas. We have almost finished our entire hog. Luckily our new hog will be here soon. â
Doesn't this look delicious? Tender with a little crispness on the edges. The sugar in the cola helps give the meat its flavor and caramelized crispy edges. I do not promote drinking cola (just ask my kids and husband, ha ha), but I make an exception here. If you don't want to add cola, you could use broth instead.
I made this for my son's birthday party last week and used two cuts of pork shoulder. I did not weigh them so I am not sure how many pounds of meat I cooked. It was a small party at which we fed about a dozen people. What you see pictured in the skillet is the leftover meat so this does make a lot and is perfect for parties. (Also, the leftovers are amazing.) It is really fun to serve with chips and salsa, guacamole, fresh lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro etc. I found these little "street taco" sized tortillas at the grocery store and they are perfect for carnitas and especially for little hands at kids birthday parties.
(Food photography tip: Take pictures of leftovers the next day to make use of natural light. Also a great tip when you are a busy Mom hosting a 10 year old's birthday party. It's so much easier to focus on taking good photos when you are not busy and feeling rushed.)
4 or more pounds pork shoulder ( also known as Boston butt)
Small amount of oil
1/2 T. (approximately) fresh ground salt
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 T. oregano
1 sweet onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. orange juice
1 C. or more real sugar cola
Fresh squeezed lime juice and more fresh ground salt and pepper for flavoring the finished pork.
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Cut the meat into chunks and season with salt, pepper, oregano, and cumin. Brown the meat in a small amount of oil (I use coconut oil) in a large dutch oven.
3. Then add onion, garlic, orange juice, and cola.
4. Cook covered in the oven for 3 to 3 1/2 hours or so, until the meat easily shreds with a fork.
5. Remove any bones and shred the meat adding extra cooking liquid back to the meat. If you like you can put the meat under the broiler to crisp the edges for 5 to 10 minutes. (Meat pictured was not crisped under the broiler.)
6. Salt and pepper to taste and squeeze fresh lime juice over the top.
I serve in an iron skillet because I think it looks attractive, but it is also handy for re-warming the meat on the stove if desired. When re-warming, add a small amount of cola or broth to the skillet for moisture.
Welcome to Home Ec @ Home
Hi, I'm Faith, a former Family and Consumer Science teacher turned food blogger. I love God, my family, and food. You can usually find me in the kitchen preparing family friendly, homemade recipes and taking lots of pictures.
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