Carnitas in a Dutch Oven (leaner)

This is my first time making carnitas. And it came out sing-off I had to write it down. I don’t have a vat of lard like the traditional way they make carnitas in Mexico. But I did it in my Dutch oven and it worked out perfectly. It actually came out leaner and I enjoyed it more than street tacos.

What I love is that there is no searing or frying. Everything goes into the pot in 5 minutes. And you let the oven do the rest of the work. If you work at your laptop it works out perfectly.

(See video at bottom of post)


Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 4 hours

Ingredients (for 6)

2.24 lb. Pork collar, shoulder or butt (recipe works for 2-3 lbs. pork)

1 ¼ tsp. Salt

½ tsp. Black pepper

½ onion, chopped

½ jalapeño (inused Serrano)

2 cloves garlic, minced

⅓ cup orange juice

1 dried guajillo chile (optional)


½ Tbsp oregano

1 tsp. Cumin

½ Tbsp olive oil.


1. Pat down the pork with paper towels to dry. Then season with salt and pepper.

2. Combine rub ingredients and rub onto pork all over.

3. In a Dutch oven place pork in there with the fat cap up. Add in the onion, Chiles, garlic and orange juice. Add in 2 cups of water (it shouldn’t cover the pork).

4. Place in the oven with lid (or foil tightly) on at 325 F for 2 hours.

5. after 2 hours uncover pork and return to the oven for 1-1.5 hours or until pork shreds easily. Add more water if needed during cooking.

6. Remove pork ans place in a baking dish. Let cool a bit. Then shred with two forks. Strain the cooking liquid and keep it for reheating the pork.

7. Place cooking liquid and pork in fridge if eating later. I like to make it up to a day ahead and heat it up. Best pork in a nonstick pan until a little crispy.

I served it two ways. One was with barbecue sauce (primal brand) on a brioche bun like a pulled pork sandwich. and the other was in tacos with salsa. I was partial to the tacos!

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