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Dutch Oven Carnitas

Carnitas is pork that is characterized by a crispy exterior and moist, succulent meat. Carnitas translated from Spanish means 'little' or 'small' meats. This is because Carnitas is slow cooked until it is so tender it can be pulled apart into small pieces which are then roasted at a high heat to produce the crispy exterior. Cooking Carnitas is really more of a technique than a particular recipe because there are so many variations and each is delicious. When it comes to pork the wisdom of traditional methods of preparation are key to ensuring a healthy meal! Every Mexican family will have their own 'secret sauce' or spice mix some use orange juice, some use milk -- so what we're going to show you is the basic technique and our favorite recipe but when you try it on your own don't be afraid to add a bit of your own 'flava' to your Carnitas -- yeah booyy!
  Pork shoulder 5 Pound
  Lemons 4 Large
  Filtered water 4 Cup (64 tbs)
  Bay leaf 2 Medium
  Salt 5 Teaspoon
  Everyday seasoning 3 Teaspoon
  Coriander powder 2 Teaspoon
  Chipotle powder 2 Teaspoon
  Paprika 2 Teaspoon
  Cumin powder 2 Teaspoon
  Olive oil 1 Teaspoon
  Onion 1 Large, chopped
  Garlic 4 Clove (20 gm)
  Jalapeno 2 Large
  Chicken broth 2 Cup (32 tbs)

1. In a large stainless steel bowl, place the pork shoulder.
2. Cut the lemons and squeeze in the lemon juice.
3. Pour in the filtered water.
4. Drop in the bay leaves and add the salt.
5. Sprinkle in the Everyday seasoning.
6. Allow the meat to rest in the marinade for 6 hours or more in the refrigerator.
7. Before you are ready to cook, pre heat the oven to 275 degrees Farenheit.
8. Chop the onions and the garlic roughly.
9. Split open the jalapenos, remove the seeds and cut into strips.

10. In a bowl, mix in the coriander powder, cumin powder, chipotle pepper powder and paprika.
11. Take the meat out from the marinade and pat it dry with paper towels.
12. In a sheet pan, place the dried pork shoulder.
13. Generously sprinkle in the spices on all the sides, pressing it in with both hands so that it forms a crust.
14. Heat a Dutch oven and pour in the olive oil.
15. Place the meat in it with the fat side down and give it a sear on all sides about 4 minutes on each side.
16. Add the chopped onions and garlic in it.
17. Place the sliced jalapenos on top of the pork shoulder. Take care to have the fat side on top so that as the fat is rendered, the meat remains soft.
18. Add chicken broth to the pan.
19. Set the oven rack such that the Dutch oven receives equal amount of heat from all sides.
20. Let it sit in the preheated oven for 4 hours.
21. Take it out of the oven and remove the chilies from the top.
19. In a roasting pan, lift and transfer the pork shoulder.
20. Use two forks and pull the pork from the bone and shred it.
21. Season the meat with a little salt and everyday seasoning.
21. Set the oven to Broil at 450 degrees Farenheit and place the roasting pan on the top rack for 15 minutes for the meat to crisp up.
22. Take it out from the oven.

24. Serve the Carnitas on a Napa cabbage leaf with chipotle mayo sauce on top or on a bun as in a pulled pork sandwich.

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: 
Bit Difficult
Cook Time: 
290 Minutes

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Nutrition Rank

Nutrition Facts

Serving size

Calories 463 Calories from Fat 264

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 29 g45%

Saturated Fat 10 g50.1%

Trans Fat 0.3 g

Cholesterol 140.6 mg46.9%

Sodium 1716.3 mg71.5%

Total Carbohydrates 10 g3.2%

Dietary Fiber 3.4 g13.8%

Sugars 1.9 g

Protein 41 g82.1%

Vitamin A 22.4% Vitamin C 52.9%

Calcium 8.9% Iron 21.6%

*Based on a 2000 Calorie diet

Dutch Oven Carnitas Recipe Video