Printer icon

Pork Carnitas

Pork Carnitas

To make the perfect batch of carnitas, tender, fatty pork is slowly simmered in a sweet orange sauce and then crisped up under the broiler before getting a second dose of the sauce. The biggest challenge of the cooking process is trying not to eat half the recipe as a “taste test” before you put it in to broil, but just remember that as delicious as it is then, it’ll be even better if you can just wait a few minutes for everything to get crispy.

Carnitas are a great family meal because they transform one of the cheapest cuts of pork into something delicious. Kids love them, and they’re also great in lunchboxes later in the week, so one night of cooking can do double duty.

As an alternative to tacos with rice and beans, Paleo carnitas are great in lettuce wraps or served over salad; you could also use them to top a bowl of roasted vegetables. Cauliflower “rice” is another great option that soaks up any extra sauce very nicely. And of course, there are always Paleo tortillas. If you’re looking for something even more indulgent, try roasted sweet potatoes, or maybe guacamole with your favorite dipping vehicle. Or just pile them onto your plate and dig in!

Pork Carnitas Recipe

Servings SERVES: 4Preparation time PREP: 15 min.Cooking time COOK: 2 h.


Protein: 78g / %

Carbs: 7g / %

Fat: 73g / %

Values are per portion. These are for information only & are not meant to be exact calculations.


  • 4 pound boneless pork butt, cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 1 medium orange, juiced, and keep the spent halves
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 cups of water
Carnitas preparation


  1. Preheat your oven to 300 F.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a Dutch oven, and bring the mixture, uncovered, to a simmer over a medium-high heat.
  3. Cover and transfer to the pre-heated oven.
  4. Cook for 1.5 – 2 hours or until the meat falls apart.
  5. Remove the pot from the oven and set the oven to broil.
  6. Remove the meat from the pan and place on a baking sheet.
  7. Discard everything from the Dutch oven except for the liquid.
  8. Pour the liquid in a saucepan, bring to a boil, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until the liquid becomes thick.
  9. Pour the sauce over the meat and mix until well coated.
  10. Place the pork in the oven and broil for 8 to 10 minutes, turning once.
  11. Serve immediately in a lettuce leaf with your favorite toppings or serve on top of a fresh salad.